Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

I’ve been traveling all week and have had little time to keep up with the news.  And next week is the AGU annual meeting.  I do have some good posts in the pipeline, but I would greatly appreciate your pointers to things that you have found interesting as of late.

256 responses to “Open thread

  1. Pingback: Open thread | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. COP21: A lot of “should”s, not many “shall”s.

    • A good start might be the final draft of the Paris agreement

      Surely America said it won’t sign anything legally binding?


      • Seems like an awful lot of good intentions but no teeth. What do you think Jimd?


      • Thanks for linking it. I want to see what the naysayers are complaining about first. I think 1.5 degrees is ambitious because we could easily be committed to that already. Perhaps it is just an aspirational goal. Regular reviews of national emission targets are good to have.

      • It’s non-binding on the US, so who cares? If the next President follows Obama’s Executive Order model, the entire document could be relegated to a cleanup role in the bathroom.

      • climatereason, from the text: Emphasizing with serious concern the urgent need to address the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above …

        granted it’s only the preamble, but the word “urgent” and its cognates and synonyms are repeated throughout. I have not read the whole thing yet. Has someone found the text supporting the claim by Jim D that the document recommends (there don’t seem to be any enforceable “requirements”) gradual changes taking 50+ years?

      • The INDCs probably don’t go beyond about 2030, but their rate is that of 50 years for a complete reduction if it stays linear (2% per year).

      • JIMD

        Yes, it was my understanding that 2degrees C was already baked in to the system and drastic action needed to be taken to prevent too much more.

        Presumably therefore the 1.5 must mean an aspirational goal to be achieved in time once 2C has been reached . That is to say the temperature will eventually be reduced from its baked in high level to something a little lower? That surely assumes an aspirational Co2 level of 350ppm or lower?


      • climatereason, here is more from the document, about INDCs: 17.Notes with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within least-cost 2 ̊C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030, and also notes that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required than those associated with the intended nationally determined contributions in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 ̊C above pre-industrial levels by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 ̊C above pre-industrial levels

      • climatereason, here is an endorsement of adaptation: 53. Decides that, in the implementation of the Agreement, financial resources provided
        to developing countries should enhance the implementation of their policies, strategies, regulations and action plans and their climate change actions with respect to both mitigation and adaptation to contribute to the achievement of the purpose of the Agreement as defined in Article 2;

      • Matthew

        Thanks. The BBD is saying that the aim is for a maximum of 1 .5 c rise so no gong up to 2 c then dragging it back down again. Lomborg just popped up to say that Paris has only gone 1% of the way to its new stated objectives.

        If 1 .5 c is already baked into the system that surely implies that co2 levels need to stop rising immediately?


      • climatereason, more interesting text: ENHANCED ACTION PRIOR TO 2020
        106. Resolves to ensure the highest possible mitigation efforts in the pre-2020 period,including by:
        Urging all Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that have not already done so to
        ratify and implement the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol;
        Urging all Parties that have not already done so to make and implement a
        mitigation pledge under the Cancun Agreements;

        Given that the US Senate already rejected the Kyoto Protocol 97-0, I don’t see those things being agreed now by the Senate.

      • Matthew

        Hmmm. Interesting. Bearing in mind that the US didn’t sign up to Kyoto AND that they wouldn’t accept a legally binding agreement (presumably because it would be voted down) it is difficult to see where America goes from here.


      • Jim D: The INDCs probably don’t go beyond about 2030, but their rate is that of 50 years for a complete reduction if it stays linear (2% per year).

        I did not find text supporting that in the written agreement. I read it all, but some not as carefully as other parts. Where does it say that in the text?

        The text specifies dates and mechanisms for meeting to review progress, but everything else is “urge”, “request” and such. All participation is “voluntary” (in quotes here because they use that word in the text.)

      • It appears to be the diplomatic equivalent of a participation trophy.

        And don’t forget the basics: its ultimate failure will be documented by the CO2 data at Mauna Loa…just as all of the expensive efforts to date have failed.

    • Is it over?

      I’m sure there’ll be some sort of report reflecting “concern” tinged with “sober optimism” and maybe a tease for COP 22. After the face-making and the face-feeding comes the face-saving.

      Then they call on the fibbers of the world to assemble a year hence in the city of Marrakesh for more factoids and fiddled data…and some some of those nice Moroccan tagines.

      C’mon, people. Just demolish the climatariat. You know you want to.

      • mosomoso

        yes its over. Basically the Aussies are screwed if you still have any coal left in the ground after next year, because all the pious signatories will want to go down the soft furry renewables route and not the evil coal route


      • I think it ended wit the following prayer, author unknown:

        ALGORE is my shepherd; I shall not think.
        He maketh me lie down in Greenzi pastures:
        He leadeth me beside the still-freezing waters.
        He selleth my soul for CO2:
        He leadeth me in the paths of self-righteousness for his own sake.
        Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of reason,
        I will fear all logic: for thou art with me and thinking for me;
        Thy Gore’s family oil fortune and thy 10,000 square Gorey foot mansion, they comfort me.
        Thou preparest a movie in the presence of contradictory evidence:
        Thou anointest mine head with nonsense; my obedience runneth over.
        Surely blind faith and hysteria shall follow me all the days of my life:
        and I will dwell in the house of ALGORE forever.

      • The French prostitutes are sad to see them leave, but have fat purses.

      • EU, Sex Workers.

      • @mosomoso “After the face-making and the face-feeding comes the face-saving.”

        +100. Paris will live on but the UN’s COP21 “treaty” will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

      • Well, M, they do have to make way for new treaties. Can’t have the old one cluttering up COP26.

        A bit like academic publication these days…if you can’t chuck it out after five years people will have to get real jobs.

        Anyway, there will always be those wonderful memories:

  3. daveandrews723

    Great job at the Senate hearing this week!! As a layman I would really like to see more discussion about the fundamental principle of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. That seems to be at the core of the entire debate around climate change/global warming. Since the models appear to be wrong over the past 15 years or so, is the science really “settled” about the effects of increasing CO2 levels on the temperature of the earth? The warmists claim it is a direct relationship that can be projected out over the future. The skeptics claim it is not. Thanks.

    • There is little or no disagreement between the warmists and the skeptics about the warming from CO2.
      The warmists do not get the dangerous warming from CO2.
      They get the dangerous warming from additional feedbacks based on their climate model output. Most skeptics do not dispute that CO2 should cause some warming. Most skeptics do not believe additional feedbacks will cause dangerous warming. The models that have been wrong for two decades and they will be wrong for centuries. They cannot reproduce results that match past centuries. Model output for the past ten thousand years looks like the Hockey Stick with no Roman or Medieval warm periods and no cold period in between or Little Ice Age between the Medieval and Modern warm period. Water Vapor is the primary greenhouse gas. Mother nature deals with the Water Vapor and does not handle it the same way climate models do.

      • popesclimatetheory wrote:
        >Most skeptics do not dispute that CO2 should cause some warming.

        Well, perhaps more accurate to say “most skeptics who are scientifically literate…” Remember the “sky dragon” nonsenses a while back around here? *Those* skeptics did indeed deny that CO2 causes warming.

        You have accurately characterized the views of most skeptics who are actually scientists.

        We should add that many “skeptics” (I think this would include Judith) are not sure that warming will not be a problem: they simply think the alarmists have not yet made a convincing case.

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • physicistdave wrote: “*Those* skeptics did indeed deny that CO2 causes warming.”

        There are many skeptic scientists who believe that science has not adequately proven that CO2 causes warming. Gerlich & Tscheuschner being two of them.

        I find it amazing that so called scientist are so eager to accept hypotheses because they are popular, have been repeated endlessly ad nauseam, yet have not been thoroughly vetted through the rigorous principles of the scientific method.

      • Well, skepticgonewild, I have only seen a very, very small number of people who might plausibly be considered legit scientists who argue that CO2 has absolutely no warming effect at all. And, when I have tried to look into their credentials… well, let’s just say I am left with some questions.

        The argument that CO2 has some warming effect is very, very simple: I can explain it to anyone who is scientifically literate in a few minutes. (No, I am not going to do it again! Many people who know more than I do have already done that.)

        The real issue, as popesclimatetheory pointed out, is that the CO2 contribution alone to warming is rather small, and you only have a real problem if the positive feedbacks are large enough. And, the feedback effects are difficult to get right.

        skpeticgonewild also wrote:
        >I find it amazing that so called scientist are so eager to accept hypotheses because they are popular, have been repeated endlessly ad nauseam, yet have not been thoroughly vetted through the rigorous principles of the scientific method.

        That is not what is happening with me, Judith, or lots of scientists who are *not* just accepting hypotheses because they are popular but who actually do understand the underlying physics. I know you will not accept that we actually understand the basic physics argument, and, alas, I do not suppose there is anything we can do to change your mind (short of teaching you the basic physics, which is not practical in this venue).


      • skepticgonewild,

        Being a kind and helpful fellow, I actually decided to check out the specific example you gave: “Gerlich & Tscheuschner.”

        Here is their grand paper on refuting the standard analysis:

        If you look through the contents, you will see that when they get to “Physical Foundations of Climate Science,” their first major topic is ” The conservation laws of magnetohydrodynamics.”

        Now, MHD is an interesting if somewhat arcane area of physics. But, as far as I know, the baseline argument that CO2 leads to some positive global warming has *never* been based on MHD!

        In short, these guys seem to just be confused: they assume that MHD should be integral to even the very simple argument about CO2’s small warming effect. But it just isn’t.

        And, they cannot just make this up: they are trying to refute an existing argument. They cannot pretend that this argument is what they wish it to be instead of what it is.


      • physicistdave,

        I’ve no doubt you can “explain” that CO2 has some warming effect. The facts contradict any “explanation” you might proffer. Warmists blather on with “sciencey” nonsense such as radiative transfer effects, forcings, feedbacks and such. Proponents of the luminiferous ether, or phrenology were equally adept at providing explanations of their ideas.

        Unfortunately, nobody has ever managed to demonstrate the ability of a body to raise its temperature by virtue of being surrounded with CO2. Not surprising, really. Such a feat would require the abandonment of the laws of thermodynamics, and the acceptance of magic.

        Faith falls in the face of fact. The world cooled for four and a half billion years. The Warmists’ collective faith is unlikely to be able to reverse this trend, in my opinion.

        CO2 warms nothing. Go and sit in the desert at night, if you don’t believe me. Don’t try and tell me that CO2 only warms things if the Sun is shining. The Sun warms the surface of the Moon quite nicely, and there’s no CO2 involved, is there?

        The gullible being led by fools or frauds. It’s happened before, and will no doubt happen again.


      • @skepticgonewild I have a brilliant suggestion. First get an optical thermocouple. You should be able to buy one online for under USD50. Second get a supply of CO2. Dry ice sublimates into gaseous CO2. Then wiki John Tyndall and copy his experiment. As with the thousands of students who repeat this experiment every year, you will find that CO2 while almost perfectly translucent at visible wavelengths, is opaque at infrared wavelengths. If you perform the experiment in public and charge admission you’ll probably get your money back plus some. Let me know how it goes.

      • Mike Mellor,

        Why would I want to repeat Tyndall’s experiment to measure opacity, when the measurement does not prove anything?

        Besides, Tyndall held the false notion of “aether”, or aetheral heat transfer.

      • physicistdave,

        I don’t need any lectures regarding physics. I’ve had plenty of university courses in general physics, specialized physics, and a course in thermodynamics.

        You stated that you are one of those “scientists who are *not* just accepting hypotheses because they are popular but who actually do understand the underlying physics”. You completely missed my point about vetting hypotheses via the scientific method. Who cares if you allegedly understand the physics? The scientific method involves developing experiments to at least confirm that your hypothesis has a good chance of being correct.

        I’ve seen examples of your kind of physics. Take for instance the Kiehl/Trenberth energy balance diagram. They show 161 W/m2 of solar insolation being absorbed by the earth’s surface. Yet somehow the atmosphere is twice as powerful as the sun, in providing 333 W/m2 of radiative flux. That’s a cool thermodynamic trick, Dave. The atmosphere is not an energy source.

        Empirically we have had many examples where CO2 levels have risen, but temperatures fall, or are flat: no warming the last 18 years per satellite record; 40-plus year cooling period from late 1930’s to late 1970’s. From 8000 years ago to about 100 years before present, CO2 levels increased from 260 ppm to 280 ppm per ice core records, yet there were multiple periods where temperatures fell by as much as 3.5 degrees C, with the overall trend during this period being negative.

        The physics and empirical data colors me unconvinced.

      • Mike Flynn wrote to me:
        >Such a feat would require the abandonment of the laws of thermodynamics, and the acceptance of magic.

        I actually understand the physics: I have used math and physics, quite successfully, to design various complex integrated circuits and substantially improve their performance, and I am co-patentholder on multiple patents. I also hold a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University.

        Does that prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that I am right and you are wrong? No. But it does create an enormous presumption that I am right and you are wrong unless you can come up with some significant scientifically relevant point that shows that I and almost all legitimate scientists who have considered the issue have made a mistake.

        Sorry, Mike, but your simply throwing around phrases such as “acceptance of magic” is not enough to overcome that presumption.

        By the way, I agree with Judith that the catastrophists have way, way oversold the case for catastrophic AGW: their claims dramatically exceed their evidence.

        But the basic physics does indeed show that AGW does have some warming effect, even if that effect may be small. If you do not grasp that, you do not grasp physics.


      • skepticgonewild wrote to me:
        > You completely missed my point about vetting hypotheses via the scientific method.

        No: you completely, entirely misunderstand the scientific method.

        We do mot, and do not need to, re-test every single basic principle of physics every single time we analyze some scientific phenomenon. If we had to do that, engineering would be impossible.

        The argument that CO2 produces some warming is based on very, very basic, very elementary principles of physics, well-tested over several centuries. We do not need to test them again. We do not,. for example, re-test the law of conservation of energy every time we build a new power plant: that law is so well-tested we just take it for granted.

        Anyone who cannot grasp the argument that increased CO2 produces a warming effect should not have been allowed to pass high-school physics. If you really did pass “plenty” of physics classes, as you claim, you should sue the schools that gave you those passing grades. You did not deserve them.


      • psychicdave,

        When you have a 1000 w/m-2 of solar insolation shining on the earth’s surface, that’s all you get, Einstein. You can’t multiply that or increase it in any way, shape of form. That’s would be a violation of the First Law of Thermodynamics.

        Gee “physicist’ Dave, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with these idiot mechanical engineers who designed my water heater. I don’t need insulation around the tank! The tank is emitting tons of IR, All I need are are multiple layers of IR reflectors for some good old fashioned self heating! Or better yet, how about 4 small tanks strapped together. Each tank is emitting IR which will be absorbed by the adjacent tanks and warm them up further, right?

        Or tell me this dave, how many layers of glass that are opaque to long wave infrared radiation would I need to construct above my house to obtain, I don’t know, say 3,000 W/m2 shining back down on my house? I don’t want burn my house to a crisp, but just enough to make it totally energy self-sufficient in the winter. Perhaps you can open up a firm to design these energy magnifying wonders?

        Your brand of physics leads to all kinds of absurd proclamations. I’ve seen PhD’s in physics claim that electromagnetic radiation from the earth is absorbed by the sun and actually increases the sun’s temperature slightly? Are you one of those?

        The state where I live already issued me a professional license to practice engineering. My physics skills have already been officially tested and approved.

        Your buddy, professor Paul Ehrlich, PhD, from Stanford is a world class science idiot. Did you take classes from him perhaps?

      • There are many skeptic scientists who believe that science has not adequately proven that CO2 causes warming. Gerlich & Tscheuschner being two of them.

        I have heard many lectures from people on the different sides. More CO2 should cause a little warming. The actual warming is smaller than the error bars on temperature measurements. It is not possible to adequately prove that CO2 does cause warming. Actually, CO2 should cause a little warming if nothing else changes. In real life, everything else does change.

        The climate system is extremely robust. Forty watts per meter squared moved out of the north and into the south, over the past ten thousand years, and it did not change the temperatures bounds recorded in the ice cores for the north or the south.

        The watts per meter squared due to CO2 is tiny compared to 40 watts per meter squared due to orbit and tilt.

        CO2 is just spitting into the wind to regulate temperature and sea level.
        CO2 can only make green things grow better and that is wonderful.

      • popesclimatetheory wrote:
        >There are many skeptic scientists who believe that science has not adequately proven that CO2 causes warming. Gerlich & Tscheuschner being two of them.

        Well, I think you are simply mistaken about that. As I pointed out in some detail above, alluding to their bizarre discussion of MHD, Gerlich and Tscheuschner do not appear to be serious scientists: in fact, their paper, to which I linked, really does appear to be a more a spoof than anything else. Assuming it is not an intentional spoof… well I pointed out one of many reasons above why they cannot be viewed as serious scientists: something is obviously very wrong with these guys.

        I have yet to see even a single scientist who seems to be at all competent (i.e., lacking obvious signs of crackpottery such as I pointed out in the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper) who denies that COI2 causes some/i> warming. Anyone who denies the obvious physics is free to point to such scientists: the best they have come up with is the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper, which reeks of crackpottery.

        As you yourself said earlier in this thread:
        >There is little or no disagreement between the warmists and the skeptics about the warming from CO2.
        >The warmists do not get the dangerous warming from CO2.
        They get the dangerous warming from additional feedbacks based on their climate model output. Most skeptics do not dispute that CO2 should cause some warming. Most skeptics do not believe additional feedbacks will cause dangerous warming.

        Your earlier statement is correct: no serious scientists deny that CO2 causes some warming — the physics is completely settled on that. Is that warming large enough to be a real problem? The science certainly is not settled on that.

        Unfortunately, our friends here are denying that there is any warming effect of CO2 at all in the slightest. And, by making that claim they are simply proving their ignorance of very elementary physics.


      • physicistdave,

        As per usual, you exhibit the Warmist traits of denial, diversion and delusion. I merely ask that you show one experiment where surrounding an object with CO2 causes its temperature to raise. You avoid this request, because you know that no such experiment exists.

        Referring to the work of Tyndall, for example, demonstrates that either you have not read Tyndall’s work, or you didn’t understand it.

        Trying to impress with your PhD, and your supposed achievements is completely pointless – the usual signs of a second rater. Even so, I point out that such first class minds as Newton, Lord Kelvin, and others, had no trouble both believing and promoting beliefs later shown to be completely wrong.

        It is not my fault that you are suffering the effects of your gullibility, believing in the magical power of CO2 to raise the temperature of a body which it surrounds. You cannot even state succinctly the hypothesis behind the alleged warming properties of CO2, let alone demonstrate experimentally that it exists.

        Your faith is not supported by fact. Sciencey terms such as radiative transfer effects, energy budgets, back radiation, convey no useful information. I believe Feynman said something to the effect that it doesn’t matter how elegant your theory is, it’s not worth a cracker if experiment shows it is wrong.

        Read Tyndall. Repeat his experiments, if you don’t believe his conclusions. Nip down to the closest physics lab, try and multiply some energy with a quantity of CO2.

        Maybe you can demonstrate your brilliance by showing the magical warming power of CO2 experimentally, but I doubt it.


      • Mike Flynn wrote to me:
        >Referring to the work of Tyndall, for example, demonstrates that either you have not read Tyndall’s work, or you didn’t understand it.

        But, Mike, I did not refer to Tyndall!

        Perhaps you are confusing me with someone else?

      • physicistdave,

        Warmists all look the same to me, and all sprout the same nonsense – strident assertions, buzzwords, no experimental verification of their ever changing and bizarre claims. Global warming to climate change to evil CO2 and back again.

        So please excuse me if I assumed you fitted the Warmist stereotype to the point where I thought you may have heard of Tyndall. Obviously you haven’t read and comprehended Tyndall’s work and experiments. If you had, you would smartly change your mind about CO2 warming anything. It doesn’t, and anybody demented enough to try to show that it does, comes badly undone.

        So you might just as well adopt the Warmist stance of deny, divert, and obscure. I apologise for confusing you with somebody who might have actually read what Tyndall wrote. If you had, you wouldn’t be claiming magic warming powers for CO2. Or as I suggested, nip down to your nearest physics lab, and separate fact from fantasy for yourself.

        Let me know how you get on.


      • MF wrote to me:
        >So please excuse me if I assumed you fitted the Warmist stereotype to the point where I thought you may have heard of Tyndall. Obviously you haven’t read and comprehended Tyndall’s work and experiments.

        Okay, Mike, now you are clearly ready to enter the silly house. Yes, I have heard of Tyndall, but, no, I did not say anything about him.

        MF also wrote:
        >Warmists all look the same to me, and all sprout the same nonsense – strident assertions, buzzwords, no experimental verification of their ever changing and bizarre claims. Global warming to climate change to evil CO2 and back again.

        And, since the first “Mike” I knew was mentally retarded (actually true), should I just assume that all “Mikes” are mentally retarded? Really???

        Look: there are a very large number of people well-trained in the physical sciences who recognize the basic scientific fact that anthropogenic CO2 has a warming effect but who are also critical of the catastrophists for trumpeting much, much greater confidence in the computer models that is warranted. For you to lump Al Gore and James Hansen together with Judith Curry or me is just really, really silly.

        It’s the equivalent of people who lump Pat Buchanan together with Hitler on the grounds that both were “right-wing.” Again, just silly. You need to mature beyond the point where, as you say, “Warmists all look the same to me.”

        Incidentally, while I do know, like everyone who is literate in physics, that CO2 does produce a warming effect, I am not now, and never have been, at all certain that the globe will continue to warm, so it is an error to call me a “warmist.” CO2 is just one factor, and there are many others: changes in solar output, intrinsic variability in the climate system, effects from the earth’s orientation and orbital behavior a la Milankovitch, natural and artificial aerosols, and, no doubt, others of which I am not aware.

        What will be the ultimate result when all of these are added up, along with the warming from CO2? I actually don’t know, any more than you do. The real world is a complicated place.

        But, “eppur si muove.” CO2 does produce a warming effect, even if that effect may be swamped by other unrelated effects.


    • Dave A., I totally agree with you; that’s the crux of it. The physics of CO2’s long-wave IR absorption and radiative transfer can be validated through experiment, but I believe the quantitative effect is greatly exaggerated. The physics can be true, but making it the cause of every observed change, or the basis for arbitrary predictions is where good science turns into junk.

      • Paul,

        Physicist Dave is simplifying somewhat. The effect of CO2 on the earth’s surface is huge. Were there no CO2 blanket then on average surface temperatures would be some 18 degrees C colder, and you can show this from calculations based on Boltzmann’s law of black-body radiation. I’ve not met any scientist who has ever disputed this basic 18 degrees of warming.

        So the primary effect of CO2 at 280 ppm is huge and the earth makes a pretty good experimental system for showing that. You need to know how to do the calculations properly, of course.

        The issue we now have is that CO2 levels are increasing from 280 ppm up to currently 400 ppm. There is a law of diminishing returns for the heating effect of the extra 120 ppm. Nevertheless given the experimental proof that the first 280 ppm CO2 = 18 degrees of warming, there is a calculation you can do which shows that the extra CO2 ought to increase temperatures by less than 2 degrees C in the absence of any positive feedbacks.

        Then we come to the substantive issue – are there large positive feedbacks. Here we have two effects pulling in opposite directions. 1 degree of extra warming will result in quite a bit more water vapour in the atmosphere, and water vapour is also a strong greenhouse gas, so this provides significant positive feedback.

        As against this, some of the additional water vapour may or may not condense to droplets to form more clouds than before. These clouds will reflect more sunlight directly, reducing the energy flux to the ground and providing negative feedback for the extra CO2-induced warming. The evidence at present is that cloud levels do not seem to be increasing.

        And there we have it. 18 degrees C warming already there (for millions if not billions of years) for anyone to check with some maths, and then the question as to whether slightly higher temperatures result in more clouds or must more transparent water vapour in the atmosphere.

      • Peter Davies: “Were there no CO2 blanket then on average surface temperatures would be some 18 degrees C colder

        An incorrect statement that entirely ignores the effect of the much more important greenhouse gas, water vapour.

      • Peter Davies: “1 degree of extra warming will result in quite a bit more water vapour in the atmosphere”

        The analyses of NASA’s NVAP satellite data demonstrate otherwise.

        Vonder Haar


        Solomon et al.

        Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.

      • The most careful estimates using radiation returned to earth show the 18 degrees C warming compared with a black body is 2/3 caused by water vapour greenhouse radiation returned to earth and 1/3 caused by CO2.

        So in one sense catweazle666 is correct. But you have to follow the logic through to its conclusion.

        If there were no CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere and the temperature started off 18 degrees lower, then each of those degrees would cause a reduction of around 6% in the water vapour in the atmosphere. Clearly you can’t have negative water vapour. But at 18 degrees lower surface temperature there would be almost no water vapour at all in the atmosphere, and therefore negligible greenhouse warming from it.

        Water vapour alone cannot sustain the greenhouse effect which gives us our relatively pleasant climate (depending on where you live, but certainly few would want it 18 degrees lower). It can only do this when amplifying the effect of CO2 and up to 280 ppm the simplistic view of the amplification factor is 3x.

        For a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm (and we are already at 400 ppm) the law of diminishing returns kicks in and the expectation is that the CO2 alone will raise surface temperatures by 1 to 1.5 degrees C (compared with 6 degrees simplistic estimate for the first 280 ppm). On top of that the water vapour amplification is expected to double this i.e. x 2, and other feedbacks to add another 1 to 1.5 degrees for a total amplification factor of x3. At 3 to 4.5 addition degrees of warming we are certainly in trouble in a lot of places which matter. We have a December temperature 3 degrees higher than normal in London, but the only inconvenience so far is having to keep mowing the lawn in the middle of winter.

        Sure there’s the odd paper saying the amplification factor will be less than 3 (the CO2 base effect is not really disputed), but most estimates say we would be in trouble.

        One significant factor is the uncertainty in the estimates. Uncertainty works both ways in that we are just as likely to be in very much bigger trouble than the best estimate as we are to be in less trouble than the best estimate. The rational reaction to the uncertainty is to make even more certain we fix the CO2 problem.

  4. A New York Times story in 1956 shows that the state of the science then was already fairly advanced on CO2 and its effects.

    • And it hasn’t advanced much since then.

      • …and some people still don’t know what was already known 60 years ago.

      • On the contrary, the uncertainties are now much larger thanks to the discovery of natural variability. That is a significant advance.

      • Marl

        I hope you have nailed down the terms of your employment with the generalissimo. The rumour is that he intends to pay off his troops by offloading his coal shares on to them.

        Btw if you went to the Tate modern do you follow the annual turner prize awards? Astonishing nonsense that degrades a great artist. The results were made known just last week.


      • Jim D

        During those 30+ years after 1940 when nothing was warming it must been an anxious time for true believers. And then in the mid 70s with all those pesky Coming Ice Age stories they must have woken up in a cold sweat an awful lot. I wonder how many scientists retired never being able to write a paper using observational data to substantiate their hypothesis. What a bummer of a career.

      • I view that period as affirming my conclusions on AGW and the big ACO2 knob.

        I may have found some satellites that actually work.

      • Jim2, That’s too glib a comment because the breakthrough paper in atmospheric physics is Manabe & Strickler 1964 – .

        This paper produces a pretty accurate theoretical calculation of the temperature distribution with height in the atmosphere using calculation of only convection plus the greenhouse effect from water vapour, carbon dioxide and ozone.

        Before that, no-one could explain it properly.

        Have a look at the fit in the paper (which is so old it is not paywalled).

        You could use the techniques in the paper to do an estimate of warming with 560 ppm of CO2 and the result would not be a million miles from the current mainstream climate science predictions.

      • So the Manabe & Strickler 1964 paper reveals why the climate models run hot?


        In the long run the models are pretty good. You don’t want to bet against them in the long run. In the short and medium term the temperatures contain a lot of noise from stuff like ENSO, so the models don’t perform as well because this cannot be predicted very well – even when we were coming up to a huge El Nino the best models of just El Nino can’t predict precisely when it will begin or end. But in the long run such things balance out.

      • Peter Davies: “In the long run the models are pretty good. You don’t want to bet against them in the long run.”

        No they aren’t.

        They are complete rubbish, precisely as would be expected.

        Anyone who claims that a computer game simulation of an effectively infinitely large open-ended non-linear feedback-driven (where we don’t know all the feedbacks, and even the ones we do know, we are unsure of the signs of some critical ones) chaotic system – hence subject to inter alia extreme sensitivity to initial conditions with all that such behaviour implies – is capable of making meaningful predictions over any significant time period is either a charlatan or a computer salesman. And that’s before we start taking into account in such things as bifurcation.

        Ironically, the first person to point this out was Edward Lorenz – a climate scientist.

        You can add as much computing power as you like, the result is purely to produce the wrong answer faster.

        So the fact that they DO appear to give relatively consistent answers – albeit entirely incorrect ones – is evidence that someone is extracting the urine.

      • Peter – you are correct, I’m being artful for effect. But, I can’t see why, if the climate models are wrong over almost 20 years, I should believe them for a century or two? As you have probably seen, direct comparisons of tropospheric temperature has been made and the models are lacking. Also, no “hot spot.” I’m not impressed.

      • catweazle666,

        You should always be very wary of a graph purporting to show the models are high on the right hand side when the fitting on the left hand side also shows them high. i.e. throughout the whole graph the models always look high. You can see clearly on the left hand side of the chart that temperatures up to 2000 are higher than the models only on a couple of peaks, while there are quite a few cases where temperatures are lower than the models for considerable periods of time.

        As a good example of the poor vertical fitting, the model fit is two thirds of the way up the 1997/8 temperature peak, yet this is known to be a huge El Nino period. A better fit at the start of what you consider the “pause” (which is what you fallaciously believe disproves AGW) would be to shift the model line down everywhere so that the 1998 intersection was much closer to the bottom of the left hand of the peak. If you do that then the 2009/10 model and actual lines touch.

        So the impression from the chart that the models run hot is purely because whoever wrote the chart has decided to cheat with the relative vertical placement of the two lines.

        And we are generally most interested in surface temperatures. The RSS and latest UAH temperature data sets now include only around a 16% fraction of surface temperatures in them, with 84% from higher altitudes. Therefore the surface temperature data sets (GISS, Cowtan & Way) are more relevant to decisions on AGW than the satellite data sets. And the RSS guys have said their own satellite data set is less accurate than the surface temperature data sets though the UAH guys dispute it. The surface temperature data set warming comes mainly from the sea surface warming (since 70% of the earth is ocean), and earlier sea surface measurement have had to be adjusted up to remove a cool bias (water in buckets tends to evaporate and cool the sample).

    • If they knew 60 years ago, why did they fail to act?


      • The only way to generate energy back then was burning stuff. We know several alternatives now. Technology moves on and creates solutions.

      • Jimd

        We have known of alternative ways of creating energy for years. There is a tide mill at eling some 800 years old and many 500 year old windmill remains litter the countryside. The trouble is they didn’t work very well so we moved on to better things that didn’t rely on unreliable forces of nature.


      • Tonyb, good job, you beat me to the punch.

        I was too busy responding to the Generalissimo.

      • Jim D: “The only way to generate energy back then was burning stuff.”


        So all those water wheels and windmills that were in use well over a thousand years ago didn’t exist?

        Do you ever bother engaging your brain before you post?

      • JimD hydroelectric is more the 100 years old.

        If environmentalism didnt put non-dam provisions on developing world infrastructure funding the might have been some alternatives to the scramble for coal.

      • OK, maybe the geniuses who propose hydroelectric as a replacement alternative for 60 years ago can figure out how to get a city like London onto hydroelectric, or how to run cars off it, or maybe they didn’t understand the context of my comment. Within a few decades fossil fuel combustion will seem quaint, but also primitive and dirty, but back then it was the only way to go.

      • They don’t understand you like I do, yimmy. I know what you are saying. Not that you are making any sense. You have to expect reactions like these when you don’t have your thoughts organized, yimmy. Maybe you should take a break. Come back in 2016, as somebody else. Try to think up a whole name. Look in the phone book.

      • There was nothing to act on. No-one knew how greenhouse gas emissions were going to grow. It was all very theoretical back then.

    • And James Hansen thought he had a pretty good grasp of it in 1988:
      1988 Rob Reiss asked official Climate Scientist Dr. James Hansen how the greenhouse effect was likely to affect the neighborhood below Hansen’s office in NYC in the next 20 years, whereupon Climate scientist James Hansen issues this prediction, to be fullfilled in 20 years, which is to say, doom by 2008:

      “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change….There will be more police cars….[since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”

      By such dire predictions United Nations established the heavily biased IPCC:
      IPCC was heavily biased from the very beginning

      By such dire predictions United Nations departed from it´s charter and started it´s war on skepticism:
      United Nations was supposed to solve problems of an international cultural character – not to become one!

      I think it is time again to remind ourselves about the key to science. Enjoy this 1 minute clip by Feynman:

      • There is some debate about the origins of that quote.

      • Ok – I cannot assure that interview was right.

        However, the errors by James Hansen, and thereby NASA at that time, are documented e.g. here:

        James Hansen was wildly wrong! All organizations and governments, which thought he were right, was also wildly wrong. United Nations was wildly wrong. I thought Greenpeace was right, but it turns out I was wildly wrong too.

        I even marched against CO2 emissions in the late 80´s. It took me nearly 20 years before I started to look more closely into this and started to ask some questions. I will never forgive myself for taking so long before I started to wonder if the paradigm was reasonable.

        The Irony is that I can´t really discuss this with people I know, people get to emotional. The proponents of the theory has worked really hard to stigmatize those who ask questions about United Nations climate theory. There is no doubt that the proponents has succeeded in this respect.

        Here is an article at WUWT about the predictions by Hansen: How well did Hansen (1988) do?

      • Of course feynman didnt practice what he preached.
        In his real career, like all scientists, he realized that there is always a tension between data ( which can be wrong) and theory (which can be wrong). in practice he was a deep skeptic.

        A shallow skeptic merely accepts “data” as if it were pure and foundational. A deep skeptic realizes that data comes from instruments.
        And instruments are built based on theory. And sometimes data can be wrong.. why? because its theory laden

        “And yet there was a nagging discrepancy between your results and his, right?

        Well, right from the beginning it was apparent that Ray was measuring fewer neutrinos events than I had predicted. He came to Caltech in early 1968 to spend a week with me while he and I wrote our papers up describing for me a refined calculation, for him the first measurement of the rate in his tank. It was clear that the rate that he was getting was a factor of three smaller than I was predicting, and that was a very serious problem.”

        “There was a famous meeting at Caltech, just a few physicists—Dick Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, Willie Fowler, Bob Christie, and a couple of others—in a small meeting room, where Ray presented his results and I presented my calculations of what he should have measured. There was some discussion of it afterwards, and it was pretty inconclusive. There was a discrepancy; it looked like one of us was wrong.”

        NOW, lets pause…. Here is feynman at WORK, real work. Not the classroom for freshman and shallow skeptics, but Real work.
        Real problems. Not your ivory tower BS that you feed to students.

        Does feynman Pop up and say… THE THEORY IS WRONG?

        Does he?

        “I was very visibly depressed, I guess, and Dick Feynman asked me after the meeting if I would like to go for a walk. We just went for a walk, and he talked to me about inconsequential things, personal things, which was very unusual for him, to spend his time in quite idle conversation; it never happened to me in the many years that I knew him that he did that before or afterwards. And only toward the end of the walk, which lasted over an hour, he told me, “Look, I saw that after this talk you were depressed, and I just wanted to tell you that I don’t think you have any reason to be depressed. We’ve heard what you did, and nobody’s found anything wrong with your calculations. I don’t know why Davis’s result doesn’t agree with your calculations, but you shouldn’t be discouraged, because maybe you’ve done something important, we don’t know. I don’t know what the explanation is, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged.”

        NOPE. Feynman does not do what he tells his shallow students to do.

        So.. the theorists take measurements at a different place. Not in a mine,
        but at the sun

        “Well, we had information beginning in the late 1980s, around 1988, that measurements made on the surface of the sun about how the sun vibrates were giving us information about the interior of the sun. And the first indications were that the measurements were in agreement with our predictions using our model of the sun. So that was very encouraging to me, and I began sort of speaking my mind. Until that time I’d been quite reserved, at least for me. I would state the facts as I knew them, but I never tried to make very strong claims. But once this evidence from the surface of the sun seemed to confirm our predictions based on how the sun vibrated in its interior, I began being much bolder in my calculations.
        “That took me off the hook. I was no longer the person who had done the wrong calculation.”
        I remember a meeting in Toledo, Spain—I think it was in 1991—where, based on these measurements of what we call helioseismology, I said it was time for us to declare the solar neutrino problem solved. It was time for the astronomers to declare a victory, that it was clear that our models were in sufficient agreement with the sun that that could not be the source of the discrepancy.
        And that was a big mistake on my part, because the summary speaker at that conference was a very eloquent, humorous speaker who also had the ability to make very beautiful and very humorous drawings. He made several caricatures of me which he showed in the viewgraphs in the summary, and he had the whole auditorium, including me, laughing at the bravado, the hubris of this guy claiming that he could say something about particle physics based on this complicated sun. I tapered down my comments for a few years based on that rather humiliating personal attack. It wasn’t a scientific attack, but it was a very, very effective attack”

        Wow. This is real science! the guy who ends up being right is humilated in public. The Funny guy WON THE DEBATE.. good thing science isnt a debate.

        And it goes on… another experiment shows DIFFERENT results..

        What the hell?

        “In fact, two years later one of my idols and heroes Hans Bethe and I used the first results from the Kamiokande experiment together with Ray’s results and a very, very basic result from our solar models to argue very strongly that either one of the two experiments was wrong or we needed new physics, that it couldn’t be something wrong with my solar models. Hans and I (Hans is the guy who first worked out, in 1939, the nuclear reactions that we think make the stars shine) compared the results from the chlorine experiment and the Kamiokande experiment and showed that on very general grounds either one of the experiments had to be wrong, which didn’t seem likely by that time, or there had to be some new physics, and that took me off the hook. I was no longer the person who had done the wrong calculation.”

        The happy ending of course is that Feynman was RIGHT when he refused to reject a theory that was at odds with the data. Because the data was incomplete.

        There is another way to look at this.

        People like the poster ( Popper too ) have a THEORY about how science operates or should operate. You pose a theory and when the data says
        otherwise, you reject the theory.


        NOW, lets test THAT theory… lets test the theory that scientists ACTUALLY reject theories when they fail.

        Well, do they? let’s look at the data.. the history of science.
        if we look at science Empirically, we find that popper’s idea is busted.
        flat busted.

        But, dont tell that to freshman or shallow skeptics

      • I know I hit a nerve than Steven Mosher starts writing full sentences. I look forward to dive into this. but first – I have to enjoy my overlooked family.

      • @Steven
        It seems like we have actually been through this once before: Here!

        What Feynman said here was:
        “We’ve heard what you did, and nobody’s found anything wrong with your calculations. I don’t know why Davis’s result doesn’t agree with your calculations, but you shouldn’t be discouraged, because maybe you’ve done something important, we don’t know. I don’t know what the explanation is, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged.”

        There are no signs whatsoever in the case you referred to here, that Feynmann departed from the etics of Poppers empirical method, also called the hypotetico-deductive model, critical rationalism or the modern scientific method.

        If the theory is neither corroborated nor falsified, the theory should be kept – but judgement about the theory should also be suspended.

        This is contrary to what is done by United Nations. United Nations has become a powerful proponent of an uncorroborated theory and has also disregarded scientific principles and etics in doing so!

      • +100

      • Yes, this Feynman says, Popper says, Simon says is a large waste of time.

      • @Don Monfort
        Who is Simon?

      • Steven Mosher: In his real career, like all scientists, he realized that there is always a tension between data ( which can be wrong) and theory (which can be wrong). in practice he was a deep skeptic.

        That was a good post.

      • For Science or Fiction: Simon says pat your head and rub your belly.

      • @Don Monfort
        I sense that you have a passion for a certain type of arguments. Here are some examples on how to make your argument even more colorful: Colorful arguments!
        You will only be limited by your own imagination.

      • Our resident English major gives us a lecture on science. Surreal. I heard the IPCC is looking for a few good men. You may qualify, Mosh. Their standards are low.

      • I am guessing that was too complicated for you, sof. Simon says hop on one foot.

        Try not to hurt yourself.

      • You are completely right. I have now idea what you are talking about.

      • Steven Mosher: The happy ending of course is that Feynman was RIGHT when he refused to reject a theory that was at odds with the data. Because the data was incomplete.

        I wonder if you are preparing for an announcement later, perhaps Q2 in 2016, that the GCMs have been correct all along, and that the BEST temperature estimates are way too low over the last few decades.

      • SoF,

        Simon says is an old kids game. An early exercise in paying attention.


        I enjoyed your post and couldn’t agree more. Was reminded of a friend telling me about is graduate thesis and how he was stumped by an outlying datum point. It screwed up his hypothesis to some degree, but he didn’t want to throw it out. His prof told him set it aside, but include the fact it existed in his conclusions. A later student earned his PhD researching that outlier and opened a new area in geotech.

    • Jim D:

      thank you for the link

      From that link:
      All this was first brought to the attention of scientists by Tyndall in 1861. In his day the facilities for studying the atmosphere and measuring its temperature were crude. Today they are highly refined. According to Dr. Plass, the latest calculations indicate that if the carbon dioxide content of the earth were doubled the surface temperature would rise 3.6° C and that if the amount were reduced by half the surface temperature would fall 3.8° C.

      Well, we now know that Dr Plass and the NYTimes were wrong. Plus, Gleick in HuffPo still can not address the evidence that climate warming since 1880 has been largely beneficial, including the increase in net primary productivity of forests (where undisturbed or regrown) and savanahs; or the evidence that increased CO2 increases the drought tolerance or yields (or both) of food crops such as maize and soybeans.

      • That the first degree may be beneficial is the premise of, a group with Hansen’s view on the matter. He has a paper on why he considers this optimal, and 350.0rg also believes the same thing. They would say that 350 ppm is better than either 280 ppm or than much larger values such as those we would be heading towards, like double CO2. ( 560 ppm).

      • Really? Gleick?

        I know ad hominem is attacking the person, not the statement, but it’s also foolish to trust anyone that passes fraudulent papers for a political purpose, and for the ’cause’.

        It’s telling that people like Mann and Gleick are still accepted by the calamity believers.

      • Jim D: That the first degree may be beneficial is the premise of, a group with Hansen’s view on the matter.

        “May be” beneficial? or “Has been” beneficial?

        What is Gleick’s take on that?

      • bedeverethewise

        The next degree will likely be beneficial.

  5. Looks like we have an agreement in Paris. The final agreement will be funny in its own right. Given how far apart the Parties were yesterday it should be a dog’s breakfast, maybe even self contradictory.

    But the French did a masterful job of pulling it together. (Is “diplomacy” a French word?) They kept coming up with drafts that replaced disagreements with compromises and no one would stand up to them, because everyone’s diplomatic job is on the line. I have never seen a COP like this.

    Approval in Paris will be interesting in its own right, because the Frenchman in charge makes the call. No one expects unanimous approval. See What a circus. Has this happened?

    Still waiting to see the final document, especially the fate of “finance” and “loss and damage” (both of which the so-called developed (have we stopped developing?) countries pay for). If anybody sees a link to it please post it here. I am all aquiver.

    Obama’s finest moment, in his eyes anyway, but DOA in the Senate of course. Ironically, if the Senate had been in Democratic hands he might have had to do something reasonable, if there even is such a thing in this context.

    In any case the professional diplomats have ensured their careers.

  6. This seems to relate directly to climate science. From the article:

    This week, a group of about 100 physicists and philosophers have gathered in Munich to reassess a question at the heart of science: “Why trust a theory?” In an opinion piece by George Ellis and Joe Silk, published in Nature earlier this year, the two physicists expressed worry about current developments in some areas of theoretical physics. In particular, they were concerned with untestable attempts to address the fundamental questions concerning space, time and matter. Their article gave rise to the idea of the current meeting.

    An increasing number of physicists, Ellis and Silk observed, have become strongly convinced of the viability of theories that have no empirical confirmation. This trend is most pronounced in the quest for a theory of quantum gravity – notably string theory – and in cosmology where theories for the early universe give rise to a multiverse. Why, they ask, do scientists trust theories that have not been experimentally tested? Worse, in some cases, these theories cannot even been tested in principle. Is this still science?

    Philosopher Richard Dawid, one of the organizers of the Munich meeting, has observed the same development and, in his book “String theory and the scientific method” argued that string theorists in particular use a method of “non-empirical theory confirmation.” This method is used during the development of a theory and is based on collecting indications which increase the physicists’ confidence that a theory describes nature. These indications are, for example, the amount (or absence of) alternative solutions to a problem, the degree by which a theory is connected to already confirmed theories, and the amount of unexpected insights that the theories give rise to.

    Gross’s talk launched the workshop by giving the latest update on the status of string theory, followed by Carlo Rovelli, who works on a rival program: Loop Quantum Gravity. Gross made a case that string theory is without good alternatives and that all physics known today fits in with the idea, making it a promising route to continue. Rovelli argued against it, saying that string theory has been a failure, and that the no-alternative argument is unfounded because hundreds of people work on alternatives. Instead, Rovelli indicated, the popularity of string theory has sociological reasons. He complains that the promise of Loop Quantum Gravity is not being objectively assessed. This in return offended Gross, who insisted that Loop Quantum Gravity had been evaluated decades ago, but was not considered a good approach by many.

    The question of whether a scientific theory’s assessment is influenced by sociological factors is one of the running themes in this workshop. Dawid’s argument that non-empirical theory assessment captures correctly the probability of a theory being correct relies on the objective judgement of scientists. But it is an idealization, much like the idealization in contemporary economics that consumers are perfectly rational and have full information. It is not a realistic assumption, that much is clear. What is not clear though is how relevant sociological factors are.

    As the discussion continues, philosopher Chris Wüthrich bemoans the “moving goalpost problem.” If predictions of a theory, like the appearance of supersymmetric particles, are continuously adapted to new data (of non-discovery, for instance) that makes it in practice impossible to test a theory. “[The] reason for a lot of the skepticism is, ‘how do we address this?’ How do we make meaningful testing possible in the face of such flexibility?” The audience has no answer.

    • jim2:

      Thank you for the link.

      For 50+ years after the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge, there was no adequate theory of why why it collapsed, no alternative to the accumulated knowledge that went into its building. Everyone knew from its failure that bridges needed more reinforcement; and they built bridges with additional reinforcement despite the lack of an improved theory. I think that example, plus many others, shows why the mere “lack of an alternative theory” over many years should not increase confidence that the theory is correct. It will be interesting to read the conference proceedings, should they be published.

      • Matthew – I think the failure was traced to chaotic movement triggered by a high wind. Builders model the structures these days, and those models appear to work. They are backed by wind tunnel tests, so there is an empirical component. I’ll search a bit if I remember to.

      • I thought that the winds created a torsional stress that traveled in a wave and the gusts happened to resonate with it’s movement along the bridge.

      • This account doesn’t mention chaos by name, but read it – you will see there was an abrupt mode change typical of a chaotic system. I’ll search a bit more.

      • From the article:

        In a model suggested by Scanlan-Tomko [38], the angle of twist α of the torsional oscillator (bridge deck section) is assumed to satisfy the equation
        I [¨α + 2ζαωαα˙ + ω 2αα] = Aα˙ + Bα , (1) where I, ζα, ωα are, respectively, associated inertia, damping ratio, and natural frequency. The aerodynamic
        force (the r.h.s. of (1)) is assumed to depend linearly on both α˙ and α with the positive constants A and B depending on several parameters of the bridge. Constant coefficient second order linear equations such as (1)
        have elementary solutions. Roughly speaking, one can say that chaos manifests itself as an unpredictable behavior of the solutions in a dynamical system. With this characterization, there is no doubt that chaos
        was somehow present in the dynamic of the TNB. From [18, Section 11.7] we recall that neither linear differential equations nor systems of less than three first-order equations can exhibit chaos. Since (1) may be
        reduced to a two-variables first order linear system, it cannot be suitable to describe the disordered behavior of the bridge and fails to explain the sudden appearance of torsional oscillations that contemporaneously
        changed the vertical oscillations …which a moment before had involved nine or ten waves, had shifted to two, as described by Farquharson [11]. In order to have a more reliable description of the bridge, the fourth
        order nonlinear ODE w0000 + kw00 + f(w) = 0 (k ∈ R) was studied in [5, 15, 16, 17]: solutions to this equation blow up in time with self-excited oscillations appearing suddenly, without any intermediate stage, see [17].

      • jim2: Matthew – I think the failure was traced to chaotic movement triggered by a high wind. Builders model the structures these days, and those models appear to work. They are backed by wind tunnel tests, so there is an empirical component. I’ll search a bit if I remember to.

        Yes, but I think 50+ years were required for an adequate theory. Only recently has anyone been able to calculate how strong and massive the Tacoma Narrows Bridge ought to have been built.

        Go back to the theme: How do you know that a theory is dependable? The fact that you have no alternative theory is not cause for confidence. What you need are that the theory pass rigorous tests. The failure of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a failure of the theories upon which it was built, and there was no adequate alternative for decades. But the Golden Gate Bridge passed the test, so bridges after the Tacoma Narrows Bridge were made sturdier, more massive, and more tightly strung. Of course they knew it was the wind, but they made the bridges more robust than what their computations showed to be sufficient.

        Now you take that to string theory, as summarized in the article, it has a history of making false predictions, but the proponents are ever more confident in it because there is no alternative. I conjecture that, if the failures were more public and costly, as with the TNBridge, it would be more obvious that the confidence was insupportable.

        The proceedings should be most interesting.

      • I see your point Matt.

      • The Golden Gate bridge survived as long as it did because it was designed with a “factor of safety” with respect to wind forces. This “factor of safety” may better be termed “factor of ignorance” as the theories then available did not give good predictions of behavior in wind. IOW, the designers of the Golden gate bridge had a better appreciation of what they didn’t know as opposed to the designers of the Tacoma Narrows bridge.

        The Golden Gate bridge was modified in the 1960’s to give some extra stiffness at the cost of disallowing tracks or road on the lower level – the original plan for BART was to have the line to Marin and Sonoma County use the lower level of the Golden Gate bridge.

      • Curious George

        Tacoma bridge collapsed in 1940. Quite a few bridges have been built in the next 50 years. That does not happen with an unexplained failure.

        Golden Gate Bridge has only one level.

      • rricemagnusen: Golden gate bridge had a better appreciation of what they didn’t know as opposed to the designers of the Tacoma Narrows bridge.

        I think that is a fair statement. I think it is concordant with my assertion that the theory available was not trustworthy. The question that I responded to was “Why trust a theory?”

      • oops, I meant to write: erikemagnuson.

    • Good link jim2.

      Reading the “final” draft from COP21 makes it clear that they don’t understand that CAGW is a theory, and furthermore there are alternative reasonable theories.

      Gets back to what’s been clear for a long time, it’s about politics, money and control but NOT about science.

      • Colonel Silbert, I was going to award COP 21 first place for Green Waste in 2015. When you tally up the money, jet trails, food miles, limo miles etc and add in the sheer futility, it was always going to be hard to beat.

        But Pope Francis’s enviro-themed light show of Dec 8, costing millions, has put all competition in the shade.

        I won’t try to describe it, because that would mean degrading myself by giving it more than momentary attention. But Bergoglio’s Vatican light show, called Fiat Lux, truly was an exercise in self-loathing for the ages.

        One of the “artists” was a kind of druggie pagan who said in a 2010 video interview that a good reaction to his art happens when people “throw up, or urinate themselves, or [release] any sort of bodily excrement.”

        While this show consisted mostly of enormous projections of eg monkeys on to the face of St Peter’s Basilica, the waste, futility and neo-pagan imbecility make Pope Junta’s Fiat Lux a cert for Green Waste champion 2015. (Unless Bomber Barry comes up with something involving green drones dropping green coloured bombs which make green smoke on explosion.)

        We need to stop now, people, before we go any lower.

        Fight Green Blob!

      • Generalissimo, your description of Francis’ light show reminds me of a “performance art” exhibit I saw at the Tate Modern Museum in London several years back. It was a video of this guy with his dong between two wooden boards and he was pounding on the boards with a sledge hammer. I still clearly recall my reaction at the time.

        The Blob’s got to go along with all the enablers, rent seekers and UN bureaucrats feeding off the public teat.

    • If you haven’t you might want to tale a look at the books of Peter Woit (Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law), Jim Baggott (Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth), and Lee Smolin (The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next).

    • jim2,

      BTW jim2, thanks for posting on this topic. Thing’s are changin’, huh?

  7. Yesterday was 60f and sunny in Detroit.

    Last year was mild until about new year’s with the exception of a couple arctic blasts (I Had my windows open on Christmas eve). What’s the circum polar vortex doing this year and how might it interact with the el Nino and northern pacific warm pool?

    Also, did the 97 el Nino transfer more heat to the satellite lower troposphere than 15? How do cloud cover and precipitation compare over the el Nino regions?

    Don’t expect the strong el Nino to save us from a bad winter. No el Nino is the same and there are many reasons to expect an el Nino to play out differently than we are used to. Several ocean and atmospheric patterns are different than in 1970-2000s. The PDO is in a negative phase, Altantic ocean patterns are different, the Northern Pacific is unusually warm, arctic sea ice seems to be recovering, and, of course, there’s the weak polar vortex and wavy jets streams causing the arctic blasts we’ve had the past couple of years (remember last year, it was pretty mild until about New Years too). On top of all that, this el Nino isn’t likely to play out like ’98 (it doesn’t have the strong westerly winds 97/98, and is further west than 97/98, and isn’t transferring heat to the atmosphere as much. That means it isn’t throttling the eastern pacific upwelling as much and is more fragile). On top of all that, even a strong el Nino could easily be snuffed out. Take advantage of this warm weather while you can.

    • Leaving your windows open Christmas Eve in Detroit takes guts. Are you sure you live in Detroit? Michigan?

      • Suburbs, we say Detroit, but mean SE Michigan/metro area.

      • That’s what I thought. I know my homeboys in Detroit don’t worry much about El Nino.

      • Once you get west of Howell, 8 mile sort of disappears from our minds. :)
        Fifty years ago I spent a couple of midnights walking alone near Cobo Hall and West of Soldier Field in Chicago. The stupidity of youth.

  8. I have a bit of a puzzle.

    On the NCDC web site there is the Enso 3.4 chart:

    On the WUWT web site, there is a chart labelled identically, but the values are different:

    What have I missed? Why are the values different??

    • After zooming in, I can see the last tick mark in the second chart is a bit to the left relative to it’s peer in the first chart. I think the second one is more current?

    • It would be nice if the chart displayed the date range.

    • I researched this curiousity. The first NCDC ENSO chart has not been updated since July. It shows that months anomaly. The table above it on the webpage runs thru November, and shows an anomally well above 2, just as on the WUWT chart. The WUWT chart comes from a different NCDC.NOAA source (click pic to go to it, part of teleconnections) and is current. Your tax dollars hard at work at NCDC building a faulty ENSO web page.

  9. CO2 cooling?

    For some time now I have been wondering about the consequences of CO2 radiation as distinct from absorption. A comment by ren led me to the following, which says that antarctic cooling could be due in part to CO2 radiation.

    Now, if it is true that CO2 is cooling the antarctic, it is nearly certain it is cooling at higher altitude all around the planet, at all times. What does it all add up to? Right now I don’t know.

    • The author says Antarctica is a special case due to its combination of high altitude, high latitude and ultra-low temps; these don’t happen together in the Himalayas or Greenland for instance. Even within Antarctica, additional CO2 causes warming (albeit very weakly) in the West – the ‘inversion’ is only seen in the East.

      Still, very striking paper… and so much for polar amplification!

      By the way: it says a lot about climate skeptics that they’re ignoring this paper. It’s peer-reviewed, it’s a serious journal – even if it turns out to be wrong it seems more legit than 99% of the content skeptic sites are pushing. Oh, and it basically debunks all the Antarctic melt scares. Pity the clowns congregated in Paris haven’t read this (and the Zwally paper, and the papers showing much of the recent sea level rise is from groundwater, and…)

    • Related to this, the push for 1.5ºC appears to be largely based on fears of sea level rise. Now, this is perhaps the only serious threat from manmade warming, in my view – a multi-meter sea level rise would be no joke. So it’s pretty sad that apparently the main guy pushing this view is one Eric Rignot:

      Rignot who? Well, he was lead author of the AR5 chapter on sea level and blew it. Totally. The chapter was obsolete from publication and has been shown dead wrong within two years – probably the biggest IPCC fail on record. See the gory details here.

  10. After last year’s failed el Nino, IIRC, the warm blob in the northern pacific pushed global temps up and cptn dallas pointed out that the warming was actually similar to the 50s/60s before arctic sea is mass increased after the 30s/40s decline. The warm blob seems to increase the movement of storms into the arctic, I think this increases ice mass and breaks it up, allowing it to pile up and thicken. And there’s been less summer melt the past few years.

    Also, I wonder how arctic sea ice and CO2 might correlate. Last year, looking at law dome CO2 levels and oakridge emissions estimates, my intuition was that ice core CO2 calcs are implausibly stable and low. Is it possible that ice smooths and lowers CO2 concentrations in bubbles?

    If the well mixed CO2 levels and sea ice have a multi-decadal pattern where with a large change in just a decade or so is followed by several decades of gradual change (a sea ice and CO2 “saw tooth” pattern), would this be missed by ice cores?

  11. Email I sent a couple days ago to the corresponding author of this paper (haven’t heard back so far).

    Re: Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade

    ‘Hello, I recently bought this paper and was surprised to see it doesn’t discuss groundwater depletion. If my understanding is correct, your method consists of adding up thermal expansion at the top of the ocean + sea level rise from melting land ice. You then compare this with actual sea level rise, and conclude that the deep ocean must have been cooling because actual level rise is less than top of the ocean warming + melting (although the cooling trend is very small and not statistically significant).

    Estimates on sea level rise from groundwater removal vary enormously, but at the low end they run at some 0.3mm/year so they’re not a rounding error. Furthermore, the recent finding that Antarctica is in fact subtracting from global sea level rise so the water must be coming from somewhere – groundwater is a prime candidate, meaning its contribution has probably been underestimated in the past.

    Obviously your paper couldn’t be expected to take into account the recent Zwally paper on Antarctica, and its implications for melting-induced sea level rise. But still it seemed to me strange that you would not discuss groundwater, or explain why it was omitted in the calculations (especially because it would reinforce your point that, in fact, the deep ocean is cooling).

    Kind regards, and thanks for your time


    • Alberto

      In my opinion ground water should be factored in much more than it is. We are also injecting a lot more water into the atmosphere by way of spray irrigation which in hot weather often doesn’t really reach the ground and is often derived from groundwater sources anyway.

      We are way overdue for an objective appraisal of where water comes from.


      • Tony and Alberto, if by groundwater depletion you mean land subsidence causing apparent SLR, then I agree. Southern Louisiana, for example.
        If you mean from aquifer to ocean causing SLR, then I tend to disagree on the facts. USGS says only 3% of earths water is fresh. Of that, 70 percent is icecaps and glaciers, so about 2.1% of total. Of the remaining 30 (0.9% of total), 1/3 is rivers and lakes. So only about 0.6% of total is subsurface ‘groundwater’. And much of that is held roughly constant by rainfall replenishment, and or lake/river seepage. The two biggest groundwater basins are the Amazon and the Congo river basins, for example. Over the entire central US, groundwater levels have remained contant for decades despite massive withdrawals for agriculture, industry, and cities. You can tell by the water level in water extraction wells. Ditto the Danube and Rhein basins in Europe. There are very few places where true groundwater depletion over time could cause any net gain in seawater volume. The biggest two aquifers where this is to an extent true are the Ogallala in the US and the central India Punjab. The Punjab is depleteing in the northern dryer half. The Ogallala is replenishing to constant over 2/3 of its exent. Only western Kansas, western Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle are depleting per USGS. There simply is not enough depletion water to even make rounding error in SLR.

        Interestingly, additions to groundwater was the reasoning behind two recent peer reviewed papers trying to explain a recent apparent deceleration in SLR. Both ludicrously flawed. I had fun taking them apart (bad data, faulty math, perverted hydrology) in essay Pseudoprecision in my newest ebook, Blowing Smoke. Even maps of seasonal groundwater saturation for the entire Congo basin.

      • Hi Rud
        I just Googled global groundwater and the sources said 30% of earth’s freshwater was groundwater not 3%. I don’t know how to link on my phone.
        There are a number of scientists who have authored papers saying the contribution to SLR was over 10%. If your calculations are right then those guys ought to change careers to bartending.

      • Cerescokid, I think I said the same thing. Saltwater 97%, fresh 3%. Of fresh, 70% ice sheets and glaciers, 30% ‘groundwater’. So ‘groundwater’ is 0.9% of total. But the next division is groundwater into surface water (lakes and rivers) 0.3% of total and true subsurface aquifers 0.6% of total. They make a switch of units in the last partition, at least on the graphic I used in Gaia’s Limits.
        And since groundwater is not depleting in most aquifers, it cannot make a big difference to SLR. 10% of measured? Maybe, but I doubt it. None of the papers I cited on the closure problem used groundwater to help solve the problem. It is all different estimates of total ocean thermometric rise–just not enough Argo date for below 700 meters, no data below 2000, and different estimates of ice loss.Since the closure problem is roughly 1/3 of observed SLR (from satellite altimetry, or roughly 1mm/year), 10% still is insufficient. BTW, depending on the tide gauges chosen (pick ones with no land movement), there is NO obvious closure problem-tide gauges saying ~1.8-2mm, rather than satellite ~2.8 (excluding the GIA fiddle). Hence the essay title, PseudoPrecision. The spec for the most recent bird, Jason 2, is instrument drift of less than 1mm/year, with locational repeatability less than 3mm/yr. The whole closure problem could just be the specified uncertainty in the satellite altimetry. Yet recent five papers trying to ‘solve’ it. Plus the two absurd ones using groundwater to explain SLR deceleration. Seems like you might enjoy that essay, and at least some parts of the rest of the ebook. Foreword by Judith.

      • Here is all you could ver need to know about groundwater


      • This study says that some 25% of sea water rise comes from this source

        It is around 6mm per year which Is scheduled to grow. Previously the depletion was not large enough to be included in the IPCC figures


      • The dot seems to have disappeared. It is of course0.6 mm not six, which would be sensational.


      • Yep. I saw water but thought freshwater. Biggest enigma for me is how in within a couple of years the GMSL rate goes from tidal gauge 1.8mm to 3.2mm altimetry. Magic in just a short time around 1992. But there is a lot of magic when it comes to AGW.

      • It’s a lot of theorising and quasi-certainty about big slabs of the physical world which are still largely unknown, isn’t it?

        I’m reminded of the old apocryphal story of scholars walking along the Seville docks discussing the well proven folly of Magellan’s mission. Then the Victoria came sailing up the Guadalquivir.

        Someone took a look!

      • USA Today has been running a nice series on dwindling groundwater resources around the globe. Setting aside the issue of groundwater’s contribution to SLR, I’m willing to accept there are problems in some countries. Man has paved over millions of acres of recharge areas and abstracted the resource at rates beyond equilibrium. Also. our water management staff provided a briefing to me 30 years ago asking for funding to do some modeling work. One of those priority decisions where more urgent needs won over an important but not urgent need.
        I wonder if USA Today will get around to explaining how over exploitation of aquifers along our coasts are creating  subsidence problems and exacerbating the effects of sea level rise. I doubt it. Another chance for a Paul Harvey moment missed. We won’t hear “And now for the rest of the story.”

    • AZC:

      I note that the paper you linked to has a probable negative contribution (with wide error bars) to sea level rise from the deep ocean (below 2000 meters).

      Since you have the paper, do you know if that is due to the fact that water is densest at a temperature of 4C (I don’t know how pressure and salinity changes this) so that adding heat to the deepest, coldest layers might actually increase the water density (thus, reduce volume).

      I haven’t seen a lot of discussion in climate science about this aspect of water’s thermal expansion/contraction although it is widely discussed in freshwater lake science since it explains how lakes freeze at the top while fish survive in the depths.

      • Seawater has maximum density at minimum temperature making it different from freshwater.

      • Thanks Bob. I was able to find a pretty interesting discussion of the “anomalous properties” of water. It appears that both pressure and salinity reduce the temperature of maximum water density.

        Lots of other fascinating facts about weird, wonderful water are presented. This odd factoid, for example:

        The compressibility of water reduces the sea level by about 40 m giving us 5% more land.


      • Opluso, now that you bring up density…

        Fresh water is about 4% less dense than salty water (1000 vs 1030 kg/m3). If you doubled the amount of water in the oceans, by injecting fresh water, density would fall about 2%; however, for very small increments the effect would be almost linear (i.e. an additional milimeter of freshwater would add 1.04 mm to sea level).

        Now, Willis and coauthors get 0-2000m heat uptake from other studies and estimate this contributes 0.8mm/year (thermal expansion), plus 2mm from melting. Total heat uptake by the ocean is a mystery but they guess it’s slightly less than at 0-2000m, i.e. there’s a slight cooling below that mark.

        But if the 2mm of melting actually cause a 2.08mm rise, well, that’s 10% of the contribution from thermal expansion. Again, this wouldn’t affect the 0-2000m estimate itself as that supposedly comes from actual observations (ARGO), but it would suggest stronger cooling below.

        I need to check the Willis paper again, as well as the Wunsch&Heimbach paper from last year – I’ll see if I can think up something more coherent. Perhaps this salinity stuff has been accounted for already in SLR studies, but then seeing the Willis paper ignored the much bigger issue of groundwater you can never be sure.

        PS: of course, any estimate that tried to do the reverse of the Willis method (to estimate heat uptake from sea level rise) and didn’t account for groundwater would be absolutely worthless.

  12. Steve McKitrick at Climate Audit has an interesting piece that illustrates the disingenuity of the political left in Canada, specifically the new Trudeau regime in pushing the consensus view. “Just before leaving for Paris, the Canadian government, like many others, stated that “science” was “telling us” that climate change was “one of the greatest threats of our time… (t)he scientific evidence is clear: climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time…(t)he Government of Canada recognizes that global temperature increases must be limited to at most two degrees Celsius, and Canada’s way forward on climate change is being informed by what the science is telling us.

    The Canadian government posted up a briefing by “renowned climate scientists” Dr. Gregory Flato (Environment Canada) and Mr. Alain Bourque (Ouranos)” to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers, and provincial and territorial Premiers…(link) I (McKitrick) was particularly interested in their argument on how the “threat” to Canada manifested itself. How exactly does “science” show that a modest increase of temperature would severely damage Canada? Too often, expositions of supposed climate damage amount to little more than loud assertions that the science is settled, with occasional interjections of “Look, polar bear!!” (to modify a phrase from “And Then There’s Physics”). The Flato and Bourque presentation is in this tradition. Its exposition of damages consists of only a few slides accompanied by very short explanatory text.

    The Flato-Bourque presentation, was crammed full of fictitious photos and story lines to alarm audiences… on how “changing climate can impact across Canada”, chosen to frighten the public, but entirely lifted out of context from other sources (like Google). E.g., one slide containing six pictures: a lopsided building purporting to illustrate “loss of permafrost”, a forest fire across a lake, a somewhat geometrically abstract of cracked earth, children playing in fountains, a culvert washout on a secondary highway and ocean waves crashing on a small town.” In other words this was all fiction along the lines of the familiar shots of polar bears sun bathing on fragments of ice sheets, out-of-control forest fires, etc. E.g., the permafrost mud cracks image “was taken by German photographer Stefan Kühn in the Altai mountains, Russia in August 2001. It is located on the German Wikipedia. Pure propaganda, Joseph Goebbels and Willi Münzenberg would have loved it.

  13. Just finished reading the whole draft. A masterful piece of doublespeak.
    On the key issues:
    2.2 Differentiation won, despite Kerry pointing out the goals cannot be met, and preamble para 17 stating the INDCs are inadequate.
    4.8 Transparency lost despite extensive use of the word. The loss is hidden in preamble para 27.
    8.2 No loss liability mechanism despite 8.2. Express in preamble para 52.
    9.1 No firm GCF funding commitment: ‘developed countries shall provide finance’…without saying how much. Developing countries got only preamble para 54: developed countries ‘intend’ to maintain goal with floor of $100 bil/ year by 2020. Much sound and fury signifying nothing. Unfunded goals ever since Copenhagen.
    10.2 No mandatory tech transfer
    19.2 INDCs nonbinding. This article sets up only a name and shame mechanism, which cannot work re any clever country INDC because of the lack of transparency. Note Kyoto failed despite being mandatory, as was no enforcement mechanism. For example, China cannot be named or shamed until after 2030 because its INDC was to have peak emissions that year. And last year they under reported by 17%. And there is no way to force China to be transparent because of preamble para 27
    28 Can opt out with 1 year notice.

    Utter failure along all major fault lines, dressed up in the diplomatic trappings of pseudosuccess.
    The only ‘good’ news is IPCC is mandated to do AR6 in 2018. That will be amusing as the pause continues, sea level rise doesn’t accelerate, Arctic ice continues its natural recovery, Earth continues to green, weather extremes fail to materialize, and CO2 continues to rise despite Paris.

    • I don’t recall anyone expecting anything to be mandatory or binding in he agreement.

      • That’s the spirit, yoey. Never admit defeat.

      • What do you mean by “defeat?” As usual you aren’t making much sense, Don.

      • But is was a good party, Joe.

      • Joseph, then what do you make of Laurent Fabius, the French president of COP21 announcing the final draft today as:
        “differentiated, fiar, dynamic, durable, balanced, and LEGALLY BINDING.” That is a direct quote. But it isn’t, of course. Just like it isn’t successful in reducing emissions, producing transparency, or giving Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the like $100 billion/year.

      • announcing the final draft today as:
        “differentiated, fiar, dynamic, durable, balanced, and LEGALLY BINDING.

        I don’t know. But since no expected a binding agreement, that doesn’t make it a failure.

        But it isn’t, of course. Just like it isn’t successful in reducing emissions.

        I don’t know how you can say it won’t be effective at reducing emissions until countries until we see what countries do to reduce their emissions following.

        , producing transparency, or giving Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the like $100 billion/year

        I don’t know what you mean by “transparency” and yes some countries would have preferred stronger language about commitments, but that doesn’t make it a failure.

      • I don’t live in your fantasy world, yoey. But it’s fine if you clowns celebrate this soiree d’Paree farce as proper mitigation. Da World done be SAVED! We will play along, yoey. Yuck, yuck. Now you jokers can STFU.

      • But it’s fine if you clowns celebrate this soiree d’Paree farce as proper mitigation.

        You haven’t explained why it’s a farce. So again you aren’t making any sense as usual.

      • Joseph: “You haven’t explained why it’s a farce. So again you aren’t making any sense as usual.”

        Jailbird Jim Hansen went further than farce, he calls it fraud.

        James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud’

        The former Nasa scientist criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises’

        Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

        “It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

      • James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud’

        The former Nasa scientist criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises’

        Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

        “It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

      • Well, nobody who went to the soiree d’Paree really expected the desperately hoped for binding agreement that they all know is the only way to achieve some form of meaningful mitigation. So, it’s OK. I understand your delusional thinking perfectly, yoey.

      • expected the desperately hoped for binding agreement that they all know is the only way to achieve some form of meaningful mitigation

        Why is this the only way to achieve meaningful mitigation?

      • You don’t have to play dumb. yoey. We already know.

      • So you don’t have an answer. I think if you can’t explain your reasoning, you are the one living in a fantasy world.

      • I didn’t say that a binding agreement would result in meaningful mitigation, yoey. Or, that it is the only way. But we all know that you chumps desperately wanted a binding agreement. You didn’t get it. Losers. Now do your little dance, yoey.

      • I never heard anyone say that a binding agreement was possible.

      • I could care less what Hansen thinks.

      • Joseph, are you playing the fool intentionally to pull Don’s chain or are you really that out of touch?

        True believers in CAGW (like Hansen) should be up in arms about a piece of crap agreement that accomplishes nothing of substance that addresses their most pressing issues.

        Skeptics should be relieved that world government by the UN died in Paris and we are free to do what we want to do to address whatever problems we may see while paying lip service to the big green bureaucracy. Except the bast–ds will continue to spend ungodly amounts of money meeting and proselytizing and feeding the green rent seekers while ignoring real issues of worldwide hunger and poverty.

      • Skeptics should be relieved that world government by the UN died in Paris and we are free to do what we want to do to address whatever problems we may see while paying lip service to the big green bureaucracy.

        Only in “skeptic” world is an agreement on the part of most nations in the world to do something meaningful to address climate change a failure.

      • The little disingenuous yoey dance:

        “I never heard anyone say that a binding agreement was possible.”

        So, nobody actually wanted a binding agreement out of the soiree d’ Paree. But according to the Fabulous Prevaricator Laurent Fabius, the French Prevaricator and president of COP21, you clowns actually got a “legally binding” agreement. Too freaking funny, in a pathetic way. What makes you people think that anyone will take you seriously?

      • But according to the Fabulous Prevaricator Laurent Fabius, the French Prevaricator and president of COP21, you clowns actually got a “legally binding” agreement.

        I don’t know why he said that. What does that have to do with what I said? Give me an example of someone who said they expected a legally binding agreement?

      • Thanks for answering my question Joseph. You’re not simply playing the fool.

      • Don’t be so harsh with little yoey, Mark. His thinking is not entirely without utility. Like the Philly 76ers, who have lost about 90 games in a row. They don’t expect to win, so they don’t see themselves as inveterate losers.

      • then what do you make of Laurent Fabius, the French president of COP21 announcing the final draft today as:
        “differentiated, fiar, dynamic, durable, balanced, and LEGALLY BINDING.” That is a direct quote. But it isn’t, of course.

        Rud, I am not sure I understand. are you saying that the document isn’t legally binding or that they simply legally bound themselves to a document without any enforceable quantified requirements?

      • Don

        Now that agw is under control what are we all going to do with ourselves?

        Personally I am volunteering to lead the negotiations with china in order for the uk to borrow large sums of money from them in order to give it straight back as part of our financial reparation to developing countries, of which they are counted as one.

        I am practising trying to keep a straight face as they will think me rude if I laught out loud at the idea of borrowing money from them in order to give it straight back to the worlds largest co2 polluter.

        The western negotiators in Paris played a blinder…


      • Over here, we will switch our attention to the second biggest threat faced by mankind, Tony. Now that Obama has got his health care and climate legacies on the books, he will lead us to domestic disarmament.

        We have purchased over 100 million firearms just since our savior came to power, so he has got a lot of work to do in a short period of lame duckery. We are expecting His Heinous to be just as successful at taking our guns away, as he has been with his other endeavors.

      • Tonyb,

        As you know, I am a committed follower of Generalissimo Mosomoso in his quest to do away with the climatariat. I view this as a volunteer effort, but if he offers me some of his coal stocks I’ll take them. Heck, if it’s good enough for George Soros it’s good enough for me. When the predicted solar driven cooling kicks in we’ll make a killing.

        I assume you will be working to suspend the UK’s unilateral Climate Change Act. While I haven’t taken exception with your negative characterizations of US politics and politicians, you don’t have much to be proud of on your side of the pond either.

      • Mark

        They are every bit as bad over here. In fact, I am the president of the ‘plague on all your parties, party’ which aims for world domination after achieving that state in the UK

        we are looking for good people and can offer you shinier coal than the generalissimo in payment.

        Alternatively you can take up the poaypp franchise for the US. I look on it as the natural successor of the monster raving loony party .

      • Tonyb,

        Actually I think Don has been telling us that Trump is the poaypp candidate in 2016 in the US. I am not there ….yet, but Don has many good points and I am listening.

        Really though, is Trump any more absurd than Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders?

        FYI, Sanders reminds me of my best friend growing up in Brooklyn. His name was Eugene Schwartz and his entire family were Eugene Debs Socialists.

      • Then why bother Joseph?

        That has been one of the points several here have made – that COP is a waste of time and money with nothing of consequence coming from it.

        But it does serve as pabulum to fool folks like you.

  14. I would be interested in any comments regarding Michael Mann’s response to your comment on “Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and northern hemisphere temperatures,” in Science this week:

    • Thanks for the heads up, didn’t realize this was published. we have a blog post in the works

    • Alex(@PlanckLaw), thank you for the link. Interestingly, both the letter and the reply are publicly available, not behind a paywall.

    • They seem to claim they did not make a mistake in the original paper (“as is the case in our analysis”) yet then admit in footnote 3 that they did, in fact, make the mistake but they have fixed it now so it doesn’t count.

      And I suppose it was rude of you to point it out in the first place.

      Regarding their first point, Kravtsov et al. assert (in their second reference/note) that the standard deviation of the mean of internal variability is not exactly zero only because the data were filtered before analysis [figure 2 and figures S2 to S4 in (2)]. This is true, however, only if the full ensemble of realizations, N, is used in the calculation. If (N – 1) realizations are instead used, as is the case in our analysis, the standard deviation of the mean is not zero (regardless of whether the data are filtered beforehand) (3). Our method for assessing statistical independence is valid.

      3. In our original analysis, we incorrectly assessed the standard deviation of the mean of the internal variability estimates by including all realizations (N =170, in the case of CMIP5-All) rather than (N –1) realizations in demonstrating that only the regional regression approach satisfies the requirement for statistical independence. However, the correct calculation results in an insignificant difference in the results that has no effect on our findings and conclusions. The manuscript, code, and results have been updated to reflect this correction.

  15. I watched your Senate testimony in full. I really admire your professionalism and poise. I would be interested in hearing more about the allegation that satellite orbital degradation explains the pause in temperature rise for that data series.

    • Not Judith, but I can give you the simple answer.

      It is a false problem, and Titley should know this. It is a standard warmunist talking point to debunk satellite measurements of troposphere temperature and humidity. Maybe he got it from SkS. Perhaps it is an article of faith at Penn State like the hockey stick.

      Technical explanation:
      It is true that polar orbits degrade, the biggest problem being diurnal drift (the timing of crossing the equator changes). But this is known for each satellite (radar and atomic clocks, you know, are pretty precise) and corrected for in the calculations for both UAH and RSS. You can read more about the details, and see a chart with the actual diurnal drift over time for all major climate satellites since 1987, in essay Humidity is Still Wet in my ebook Blowing Smoke.

      Admiral Titley was blowing smoke. Diurnal drift has nothing to do with the pause, which UAH, RSS, and USCRN all show is real.

  16. Is there any significance to the NCAR prediction of a slow down in winter Arctic sea ice loss? I can’t tell if this is really news.

  17. The Energiewende is worse than we thought!

    The greenies just can’t stop talking about Germany’s thirty or so percentage of electricity from renewables, implying that they’re on their way to being nearly fully powered by solar and wind, without nuclear. Those “renewables” actually include a substantial fraction of hydro and biomass. Bjorn Lomborg just sent this devastating video to WUWT:

    Wind and solar were only 15% of Germany’s electricity in 2014 and 3% of its total energy — pathetic!

    • Yep, for quite some time the Europeans have been incinerating like mad and calling it “renewable”. Last time I checked, the US, through sheer spending, has been able to up the participation of whirlygigs etc…but they still incinerate like mad. There’s some perpetual motion theory involved, implying that stuff will just grow back, hence those American forests powering England’s Drax are being “renewed”. Or something.

      What I noticed when footing around France, Italy and Spain is how, once you get outside the cities, people are burning whatever they can get their hands on. Every spare twig from those scrawny Tuscan forests will get scavenged. Pity they can’t add it all up and call it more “renewables”. Could be a subsidy in that.

      I’ve got heaps of good waste timber lying around my acres, but I still prefer that safe, flame-free, smoke-free, flick-of-switch electricity from that good Aussie Permian black.

      Fight Green Blob!

    • For UK (actually just GB) to achieve the same emissions intensity as France is now would require a £70/t CO2 carbon price plus another 3% increase in totals system cost. A £70/t CO2 carbon price alone would not be sufficient to drive the required changes in the electricity system . The system would need about 32 GW of nuclear. Weather dependent renewables cannot do the job. In fact, they may not have any role in the least cost option.

      See my four comments starting here for more on this:

  18. Has anyone considered this alternative explanation of how thunder storms move along fronts between weather systems? The storm is reminiscent of a grass fire, burning the fuel at the leading edge and leaving the spent fuel behind and on the ground. The cloud in the picture is moving left to right. So the moisture laden air on the right of the cloud corresponds to the unburnt grass, the cloud corresponds to the flame, and the (I think cold air) on the left is the charred remains of the “fire”. What do you think? In this “vision” the cloud itself is providing at least some of the motive power that moves the front along. Please consider this explanation before you read the “classical” explanations of why this happens. This may not be an either or, I think both the classical and what I suggest, may be happening at the same time.

  19. James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud’

    The former Nasa scientist criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises’

    Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

    “It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

    Hey, I agree with James Hansen!

  20. Rud, the ocean is 3700m deep on average. It doesn’t take a big percentage to cause it to rise 0.x mm, as groundwater is estimated to.

  21. Why radiative forcing and reemission process don’t violate thermodynamics principles ?
    And how a colder atmosphere can heat a warmer ground without any work ?

    • Get a drivers license and hook up with uber, young man. They won’t care about your gravito-thermal disability, as long as you keep quiet. Shhhh!

  22. As we say in French, “la montagne a accouché d’une souris”.
    The mountain gave birth to a little mouse.
    COP21 agreement in Paris, is actually an empty box, without any real commitment.

    But what could we expect from such endless, inefficient and useless discussions but this complete farce ?

    Negotiations about CO2 emissions are just a big scam knowing that :
    ● No correlation can be established between CO2 emissions and temperature increase
    ● CO2 is definitely not the thermal knob (see Humlum 2012)
    ● Climate sensitivity is significantly overestimated by IPCC (see Lewis and Curry 2014)

    Considering a CO2 increase of 2 ppmv per year (quite stable over the past 20years whereas CO2 emissions have been multiplied by 2), we should reach a CO2 level of about 570ppmv by the end of the century, meaning a doubling compared to pre-industrial level, and subsequently a warming lower than 1.5°C as per Lewis and Curry climate sensitivity figure.

    COP21 was just an expensive (200 millions $) political event, with a political agenda, whose main objective (and result) was to organize the fund of 100 billion $ per year, in favor of developing southern countries. But indeed this has nothing to do with climate, nor with science.

    Regards from Paris

  23. What if vegetative matter increased atmospheric CO2 levels rather than decreased it?

    The atmospheric CO2 levels change rapidly. Vegetation acts as a fast recycling which offsets CO2 decline overall. The rapid reintroduction by soil and plant decay, respiration, animal digestion and fire remobilize and boost localized microclimate CO2 levels.

    Fossil fuel burning is remobilization at a deper level.

    The vegetative remobilization works against a global scouring of Co2. This is the reason co2 has remained at modest or trace levels

    • Probably no one really knows all values for processes in the budget, but here’s what I found calculating the amount of uptake of CO2:

      For the period of record, the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more is ‘taken up’ by the hydrosphere/biosphere/lithosphere.

      • The above ground carbon biomass is crudely equal to the entire atmospheric carbon content. Both are in the order of hundreds of gigatons.

        It would suggest that surface carbon has a major role for the near ground CO2 microclimate. … Just imagine if the equivalent of the entire atmosphere’s carbon, i.e. the surface layer of carbon, were suddenly removed .. or buried.

        Without the active surface layer of carbon to rapidly remobilize to the atmosphere co2 levels would collapse

  24. Lord Nigel Lawson, Chairman of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said:

    “The UK’s unilateral Climate Change Act is forcing British industry and British households to suffer an excessively high cost of electricity to no purpose. Following Paris, it is clearer than ever that the Act should be suspended until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured.”

    • Lord Lawson’s comments is supported by this recent analysis of the GB electricity system and the cost to to reduce emissions intensity 2015 ERP report Managing Flexibility Whilst Decarbonising the GB Electricity System I’ve extracted sum numbers from charts in the report to compare the costs of reducing emission with different mixes of electricity generation technologies. I’ve compared the CO2 emissions intensity and the electricity cost increase above what it would be with the existing system plus a 70/t CO2 carbon price to achieve the emissions intensities. I’ve written a summary on a previous thread here:

      The least cost options to achieve the greatest reductions in CO2 emissions intensity of electricity are with mostly nuclear and little or no wind. GB could achieve the same emissions intensity of electricity as France with 32 GW of nuclear, 0 GW of wind for a 3.2% increase in cost of electricity above what the current system would be with a with a £70/t CO2 carbon price added. (A £70/t CO2 carbon price would not be sufficient to drive the required changes in the electricity system to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction targets). .

  25. Bjorn Lomborg says:

    “Using the best individual and collectively peer-reviewed economic models, the total cost of Paris — through slower GDP growth from higher energy costs — will reach $1-2 trillion every year from 2030.”

    For what benefit?

    “The UNFCCC estimates that if every country makes every single promised Paris Treaty carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent possible and there is no carbon leakage, CO2 emissions will be cut by 56 Gt by 2030.”

    This is no joke. This treaty is catastrophic for human development, human well being and for civility and peace.

    • Have any Aussies here discovered how much Australia has committed? How much per year and how much will it reduce economic growth?

    • Lomborg says:

      “Claims that carbon cuts will be free or even generate economic growth don’t stack up given today’s technology. Every economic model shows real costs. If not, we wouldn’t need the Paris treaty: every nation would stampede to voluntarily cut CO2 and get rich.

      The agreement to spend $100bn on climate aid is a poor way to help the developing world. Their citizens clearly say, this is their lowest policy priority and climate aid provided by handing out solar panels has meagre benefits compared with the many better, cheaper ways to help, like investing in immunisation, girls’ education, and family planning. While billions lack food, health, water and education, distributing solar panels is simply immoral.”

  26. Peter Lang,

    All true, and we take solace in knowing that they didn’t do worse.

    Meanwhile Obama and Hollande rejoice in their bullshit accomplishments.

    To quote the great Mosomoso, down with the climatariat.

    • Mark

      Beware false leaders. Wasn’t it the generalissimo who said ‘let them eat coal?’


      • I promise to be a strong leader for all and to make the coal trains run on time.

      • mosomoso

        As the developing world seem so upset at the CO2 released by fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution and want to punish the West accordingly, perhaps they should voluntarily forgo all the Wests inventions since 1750 that have so dramatically raised their standards of living and health?

        A carbon account built up over some 250 years has a positive and a negative balance, as our negotiators appear to have forgotten in their eagerness to accept blame and pay out $100 billion a year as carbon indulgences.


      • Coal train: clippety-clopping over hill and plain,
        seems as how they’ll never stop, clippety clop,
        clippety clop, clippety, clipetty …

      • Beth and Mosomoso

        Since I am in the presence of two of the finest Australian minds of their generation, how would you interpret this comment, in the light of my spats with Mosh re cooling stations?


      • Tonyb, I try not to comment on the subject of “temps” when the data is a whole lot of min/max readings without lots of info, anecdotal or other, about CLOUD.

        I think recording progressive temps within the day and noting solar exposure are excellent modern procedures and in a hundred years we might have some interesting records to mull.

        But what on earth are we to make of a pile of interesting old min/max? We can guess and interpret a little, for sure. No mystery why mild 1950 had such high minima in Eastern Oz. (After a half century of rain deficit we nearly floated away in an actual climate change.)

        My guess from 1914’s high minima, high rainfall and nonetheless high maxima (second behind droughty 1915) is that it was a seriously hot year in my region. But that’s a guess where av max only helps to draw a part of the picture.

        In short, I don’t know why BEST do what they do. Because CLOUD.

        Anyway, I have a revolution to lead. Warmies are swarming and my only colonel is on the vodka.

        -El Cid Campeador.

      • This is an excellent essay today by Walter Russell Mead in American Interest.

        A brief excerpt:

        “Hypocrisy is the necessary lubricant of international life, and the Paris agreement is about as well lubricated as they come. Nobody is serious about this “agreement,” but the diplomats have agreed that a hollow facade of an agreement is preferable to the PR disaster that failure would have been. There will no doubt be many follow-ups, jet-setting conferences in many more attractive destinations, and climate diplomacy will continue to produce more greenhouse gasses than climate agreements block.

        What we will now see is various world leaders striking inspiring historical poses. With Libya in ruins, Syria in flames, Ukraine on the brink, and ISIS on the march, President Obama and Secretary Kerry are particularly eager to convince themselves and the public that the Paris Accord is an actual accomplishment. But historians are likely to agree that the Accord abolished climate change the way that the Kellogg-Briand treaty ended war.”

        Generalissimo, I recently switched from vodka to gin…………..makes a wonderful Gibson.

  27. climatereason says

    yes its over. Basically the Aussies are screwed if you still have any coal left in the ground after next year, because all the pious signatories will want to go down the soft furry renewables route and not the evil coal route
    Tonyb says:


    yes its over. Basically the Aussies are screwed if you still have any coal left in the ground after next year, because all the pious signatories will want to go down the soft furry renewables route and not the evil coal route


    In your dreams. All those Greens bleating about the “end of coal and all fossil fuels” are living in a different reality. The wake up call for them and any one else who thinks coal is at an end lies in the number of coal fired power stations that are either being built or planned that with a life of around 50 years will ensure the use of coal well into the 2060’s:
    In this view I am supported by the actions of that “Guru of the Greens” George Soros who has bought a large number of shares in Peabody Coal – maybe he is going to leave it in the ground but I do not think so! This displays the Green strategy of depressing the price of fossil fuel companies so that their supporters (masters!) can make a financial killing.

    • peter

      That’s a very good chart

      I was being ironic as I am sure you are aware. As we say, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating.’ Will the greens keep to their pious promises or will they use modern carbon indulgences in order to salve their consciences in the recognition that their populace want cheap reliable energy?


    • Who removed the coal power stations from UK? Did Tonyb do a “hide the coal” trick on the chart, or di he get Arthur Scargill to do it ?


      • Peter Lang

        The chart shows proposed coal fired power stations. If anyone proposed such a thing in the UK the entire House of Commons coterie and numerous greenie organisations would come over all faint at the thought.

        I dare you to put the idea forward to the Guardian online letters page and see how long the comment remains visible…


      • Ah! Of course. Thank you TonyB. I was too busy trying to make a smart-ass comment to notice the details. My bad.

  28. Geoff Sherrington

    Meanwhile in Australia, the ABC national news service had a short item noting that an historic climate agreement had been reached in Paris; and that we are on the path to being free of fossil fuel.
    A few items later, the ABC showed a Japanese submarine, with the story that Australia was considering these for the biggest defence expenditure ever made here.
    I listened for the way in which windmills or solar panels might power such submarines, but alas, they noted they would be diesel.

    One small example of many to come, where dreaming meets reality.

  29. TonyB

    Your irony enabled me to make a point that needed making. I am well aware of your sceptical credentials, keep up the good work.

  30. well since I have writen and documented everything on climate variability, solar wind and sun spots, a nice topic for discussion should be my findings…

  31. Can temperature exist in a non-chaotic system?

    The nights are becoming rather long in these parts and, should one grow tired of Midsomer and Abbey reruns, you might find diversion in pondering that ubiquitous parameter we call temperature. It is clearly not a mechanical property expressible in MKS units, although its product with another inscrutable, entropy, is.

    The Wikipedia has a surprisingly provocative description of what we think we know. From thermodynamics, there are steady-state systems and everything else, equilibrium being a special case of the former. We can define temperature in this special case as an integrating constant which renders an integral between two configurations independent of the path chosen. For the more general steady state, we suspect that we can define a spatially varying scalar potential as the integrating function although I am not aware of a rigorous proof. For everything else, temperature seems a moot concept.

    For a conservative mechanical system, time-reversal symmetry implies, given its p’s and q’s, we should be able to determine it’s past and future. Should this system have a temperature of 300K, who would tell whether it reached this state from a higher or lower temperature? It clearly wasn’t created at 300K, so information has been lost.

    Some may find this article worthy of perusal:
    Chaos, Complexity, and Entropy

    • Quondam,

      An excellent short paper. Thanks for providing the opportunity for me to read it.

      As to your question about whether cooling or warming results in a 300K temperature, I make the assumption that the Earth was created with a temperature higher than this.

      If one subtracts the present temperature from my assumed higher initial temperature, then it is self evident that cooling has occurred – Steven Mosher’s strident protestations notwithstanding. Or maybe the Earth was created cold.

      Most physicists find urgent appointments to attend to, when faced with the impossibility of predicting whether chaos results from such simple equations as the Lorenz equations, or the logistic equation. Sad but true.


  32. I would be interested in references or a discussion on estimates as the % contribution to climate change (global warming) that is natural and what is estimated to be man made. I think I seen, perhaps on this site a plot of the various long waves.
    Ray Leonard, PE

  33. This is getting a lot of people worried about the markets, from the article:

    Ten days ago, before the world had heard about the stunning liquidation and gating of the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund, we asked one question: Did Something Blow Up in Junk, with our question driven by the relentless collapse in triple hook-rated (CCC or below) bond prices, or alternatively, their soaring yields.

    A few days later we learned that the answer to our question was a resounding yes, when first Third Avenue and then Stone Lion Capital (run by two ex-Bear Stearns distressed trading heads) gated investors following what may have been a dedicated attack on the worst and most illiquid junk bonds, but was really just a marketwide puke in junk starting at the bottom and spreading to the top.

    • This is the mist interesting development since 2008. Icahn sees trouble.
      I asked my Wall Street son on his thoughts. He wasn’t too worried. But what does he know. When his little sister told him in 2004 she believed Apple stock would be a great buy, he sniffed, “Any time a high school kid wants to get into a stock, you should get out.” What a knucklehead.

      There are consequences to zero interest rates. Distortions are going to pop something, when and where is the question.

  34. Some of us believe that Dr. Curry is a complex person and can’t be simply labeled. In Selective Hearing (only hearing what you want to hear) not only is Senator Markey guilty of this — so are many so called Skeptics and Deniers (especially here at CE).

    Dr. Curry has repeatedly stated that her best guess is that the human footprint on AGW is probably about 50%. She refined this statement as meaning somewhere between 25% and 75%.

    Dr. Curry has also spoken very favorably on “Fast Mitigation” (reducing methane, black carbon, HFCs, Smog).

    Dr. Curry has spoken frequently on her frustration of simple black/white, either/or, polarization. But this is exactly what many of the most vocal Denizens do here at CE in their “Simplistic Framing“.

    Each week there are numerous positive stories on AGW actions that address a pro-active holistic approach:

    (1) Fast Mitigation —

    (2) Renewable Energy following sound engineering economics. So many of most vocal here at CE simply don’t know what they are talking about (in integrated resource planning) or create absurd straw-men. Issues like penetration levels and lack of T&D infrastructure in developing countries don’t mean anything.

    (3) Expanding the role of natural gas internationally — e.g., potential dramatic increase in U.S. exports, breakthroughs in fracking development (water, partnering, intellectual property).

    (4) Energy Efficiency — especially in how engineering giant ABB talks about this. With leadership from the U.S, OECD Countries have approved the financing of high efficiency ultra/super critical coal power plants to developing economies.

    (5) Land/Agricultural practices and terrestrial sequestration. Lots of stories on forests and trade efforts (e.g., U.S investment in Vietnam on rice production releasing much less methane).

    (6) Win/Win Trade Agreements as discussed by Jon Huntsman. Export of U.S. & E.U. high tech to developing countries, where they get greater access into U.S. & E.U. markets for their products.

    (7) Dramatic increases in Research & Development. This definitely includes tax credits for solar technology — as long as reduction in costs keep on doing what they are doing.

    When one combines (A) the above 7 items with (B) an opinion of ECS closer to that of Dr. Curry — we just might have something. Where this “something” could just be more time for our engineers and scientists (addressing Dr. Curry’s concerns) to better figure out this Wicked Problem.

    • Segrest,

      It’s the drumbeat of coming disasters caused by AGW which is the biggest obstacle to accomplishing the actions you’ve highlighted.

      Using climate change as justification for doing any of those is engaging in fraud. Either they stand on their own merits (which I believe many do) or they don’t.

      • Clearly, there are positions by people on both sides that are inappropriate.

        But I ask this question: Don’t people on both sides put more emphasis in reacting to the extreme views of the opposition — rather than trying to find some common ground?

      • SS – if those are good ideas, someone will do them without any intervention from the government. If they are bad ideas, the government shouldn’t be doing them either.

      • “Each week there are numerous positive stories on AGW actions that address a pro-active holistic approach:”

        Here’s one you may have missed: MagneGas (MNGA). Supposedly they have a technology for extracting, from biomass, a gas that burns at such a high temperature that it can completely combust the exhaust from a coal plant, plus cut its CO2 emissions 30%. (Don’t ask me how; that’s what I heard from an enthusiast.) Its stock nearly doubled in the last three weeks.

  35. If the “human footprint on AGW is probably about 50%.”

    What part is from Co2 emissions, land use changes (albedo), deforestation (40% of forests gone) and other causes?

    According to Obama we have postponed the next Ice Age indefinitely. I would think that is a good thing. I doubt there is a scientific basis for such a claim.

    To control the climate with Co2 emissions reductions alone seems a pipe dream. The other ways man has altered the environment are never discussed. Leaving fields fallow has to decrease albedo. As does deforestation which has a great effect on carbon uptake as well.

    Man has to be altering the water cycle as well. Does pumping huge quantities of water from aquifers and rivers like the Colorado on to land and cause more water vapor and clouds in the atmosphere ? What are the effects?

    Wikipedia quantifies the Earths energy imbalance:
    The estimated imbalance was measured during a deep solar minimum of 2005-2010 at 0.58 ± 0.15 W/m².[11] Later research estimated the surface energy imbalance to be 0.60 ± 0.17 W/m².[12]

    So 0.3 W/M^2 is due to humans?

    When natural variability is taken onto consideration It seems the percentage of warming due to Human emissions alone cannot control the climate.

  36. I wonder if they are related?

    “A US town has rejected a proposal for a solar farm following public concerns.

    Members of the public in Woodland, North Carolina, expressed their fear and mistrust at the proposal to allow Strata Solar Company to build a solar farm off Highway 258.

    During the Woodland Town Council meeting, one local man, Bobby Mann, said solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not go to Woodland, the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald reported.”

    Mikey and Bobby Mann make a good match. Both in denial of reality.


  37. Would you like to comment on this? New? theory about how clouds are moved. My revised, Are clouds pulling the weather fronts along a little? Post on “science on google + has 41 plusses and 2 shares now. What I suggest is that precipitating clouds actually pull weather fronts along a bit. Of course the wind pushed the fronts, but I think the clouds contribute too! Here is the most explanatory diagram I have made so far.

  38. Has anyone else found it impossible to comment here even though they’re logged into their WordPress account?

    A couple of months ago, WordPress blogs with custom domain names stopped recognizing my login. I was then unable to comment to Climate, Etc., with my WordPress account. After much back-and-forth on a WordPress forum, a WordPress tech finally spotted the issue.

    For a WordPress blog with a custom domain name to recognize a WordPress login requires acceptance of third-party cookies from I always set my browsers to reject third-party cookies. Adding an exception in the browser’s privacy setup to always allow [*.] cookies solved the problem.

    (Why I had previously been able to comment is a mystery.)

  39. Why adjust for UHI?

    GISS apparently adjusts the temperature data by comparing the urban temperature to three rural stations and adjusting the urban to the rural – in an effort to get rid of urban island heat.

    My question is WHY are we adjusting urban to be more like rural.

    If in fact it is 3C warmer in downtown Minneapolis (as a random made up example), then it is 3C warmer in downtown Minneapolis – and I don’t care why it is warmer than someplace 30 miles outside the city center – it just is.

    If the world were totally urban, at some point in the far future, the adjusted temperatures would be a complete fantasy – not to mention there would be no rural to adjust to.

    Wouldn’t it be better to look at the percentage of urban, in square miles or kilometers, as a percentage of total land mass and make sure that urban temperature stations are represented at the appropriate percentage.

    In other words – say urban is 3% and rural is 97% (to simplify matters) – make sure good quality urban temperature stations are 3% of the stations and good quality rural are 97% – spread evenly over the entire country (USA for example).

    That way we don’t ignore the reality that urban areas are actually warmer than rural – but don’t artificially bump the rural temperature trend by over-representing them in our official station records.

    Every year, we could adjust the official stations, to compensate for the actual urban/rural percentages.

    Long term – I cannot see how adjusting for UHI won’t lead to more problems than it solves – because pretending urban areas are not warmer seems crazy to me.

    What does everybody think of this issue?

    • Richard Arrett
      Adjusting for UHI is another way to manipulate the data to show what the people interpreting the data want to show. There are lies, damned lies and statistics.
      Urban heat measurements dominate because there are fewer stations located in the middle of nowhere away from the urban heat, biasing the “data” toward warming.

      How the measurements are made is at the heart of the “Climate Change” debate. Measurements are not made the same way as 180 years ago and beyond that there are only approximations and proxies. There is no ONE global average temperture. Imagine a thermometer sticking out of the Earth. At the tone the time will be ….. and the temperture is.
      Interpretations of the “data” are not always impartial. Trends like the hockey stick are manufactured to make a political imperative not to reflect actual reality.
      Starting 180 years ago when “records” began does not take into account the mean global temperture was on the rebound from the mini ice age. The 1.8 degrees F. rise since then was manipulated to look extreme at the end of the 20th century to get results on a political movement the upturn in the stick. Statistical significance has never been a topic. What is statistically significant ? What is the margin of error? I’ll bet a one degree accuracy in measurement is more than acceptable for today’s standards. How you average all the measurements accurately to come up with a global temperture is arbitrary.

      There is nothing normal or average about our present climatic conditions. politicians provide nothing to compare our present interglacial to the past interglacials, certainly sea levels, temperatures and Co2 levels were higher in previous interludes to the real “normal” ice ages but including those inconvenient facts would not provide a means of legacy for politicians.

      Manipulating data to get results does nothing to address the real problems of mankind , how to feed water and give quality of life to the 15 billion humans that will inhabit the planet by the end of the 21 st century.

      • Well yes – I agree with what you are saying.

        However, I get most of the adjustments – the time of observation adjustment for example. It makes sense if a group of records are taken at 7:00 am and another group at 1 pm they cannot be compared without some adjustment.

        I am not sure what the purpose is of adjusting for UHI.

        Even adjusting for growing population over time (at one spot) doesn’t make sense to me.

        That would be like adjusting a spot which had a fire because of the change in albedo. Or adjusting to remove the effect of snow on a location.

        Hey – it is warmer downtown. But that is correct – isn’t it?

        It is warmer at a spot than 100 years ago because of pavement and asphalt. But isn’t that accurate?

        If the land is changed, whether by humans or by nature – it might affect a weather station measurement. But isn’t that altered temperature reading real and accurate?

        But if the measurements are real and accurate – why change them?

        I don’t get it.

    • Richard Arrett,

      I’m with you. The temperature reading is what it is. Why adjust anything? If the actual readings tell you nothing apart from what they are, then accept it. Maybe thermometers change their temperature in accordance with their environment. There’s a revolutionary thought, eh?

      They won’t tell you anything about the future, no matter how much you adjust them. And the past is the past. A matter of curiosity, and maybe to take notice of when making assumptions about the future.

      Mind you, people still live in Naples. Not too concerned about what happened to Pompeii. Ain’t human nature grand!


      • Mike:

        Well they tell you a little about the future.

        It is colder at night (on average).

        It is colder in the winter (on average).

        But I agree about predicting climate 100 years from now – we are no good at it presently.

        Now maybe if we gather good quality data over the entire globe for several centuries, someone will figure out a way to predict climate like we can predict winter – but we sure haven’t done it yet.

        But I do enjoy reading your comments.